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It’s easy to criticize…

Father_and_son_by_Gloredel

In this season of political attack adds, I ran across a powerful essay that appeared in Readers Digest many years ago, and it breathed some life and important reminders into me.

It reveals the patterns of criticism that we so easily fall into. Father to son, worker to boss, boss to worker, or even neighbor to neighbor. In this piece, it is seen through father and son.

Criticism never changes anything or anybody, it only causes the criticized to become defensive and critical in return. So, why do we expend so much energy criticizing? Why does it seem so much easier to condemn than to encourage? 

Imagine the shift that could happen if our world population decided to eliminate judgments, and criticisms, and instead worked to positively effect the change that they were critical about, rather than only pointing the finger at the other guy.

Enjoy this little reality check…may it cause you to slow down and choose to be channels of God's grace.

Monty 

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

Father Forgets:

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, ‘Goodbye, Daddy!’ and I frowned, and said in reply, ‘Hold your shoulders back!’

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. ‘What is it you want?’ I snapped.You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: ‘He is nothing but a boy – a little boy!’

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

– W. Livingston Larned

 

Sometimes It Just Seems To Be Too Much…

Groundzerounderworld460 As I was spending some time praying this morning, I was, as many of you were, thinking about the events that happened on this day 9 years ago. Images were easily retrieved replaying the live news feeds of chaos in New York as two planes were evilly commandeered to become statements of hate when they were forced into the two towers.

Lives were taken…anguish created…questions reverberated…

I prayed today over those who are gone, but mostly for those who remain, and that I would live in such a way that my life might, in some small way, replenish slivers in the vortex of loss, disillusionment, and pain that exists, at least for those I encounter along the way.

Sometimes it just seems to be too much…sometimes the awareness of humanities wickedness or her apathy  just seems to be too much…sometimes it just seems as if we have dug to deep a whole for ourselves and will never get out…

This is when we need to realize that we have been graced by God to live an incarnational life. A life where we don't simply "do religious or good things", but a life that becomes a portal to allow God's goodness to flow through…there is a big difference.

Today is a day to choose to love and not to hate, to be honest with God, and to be honest with ourselves.

I read and ruminated on the following prayer today, and it spoke to where my heart had parked on this day of remembrance for 9-11. Pray through it and note the transition to be the answer of what we pray for..

_________________________

Sometimes, Lord,

it just seems to be too
much:

            too
much violence, too much fear;

            too
much of demands and problems;

            too
much of broken dreams and broken lives;

            too
much of wars and slums and dying;

            too
much of greed and squishy fatness

                        and
the sounds of people

                                    devouring
each other

                                                and
the earth;

            too
much of stale routines and quarrels,

                        unpaid
bills and dead ends;

            too
much of words lobbed in to explode

                        and
leaving shredded hearts and lacerated souls;

            too
much of turned-away backs and yellow silence,

                        red
rage and the bitter taste of ashes in my mouth.

Sometimes the very air seems
scorched

            by
threats and rejection and decay

                        until
there is nothing

                                    but
to inhale pain and exhale confusion.

Too much of darkness, Lord,

            too
much of cruelty

                        and
selfishness

                                    and
indifference…

 

Too much, Lord

            too
much,

                        too
bloody,

                                    bruising,

                                                brain-washing
much.

 

Or is it too little,

            too
little of compassion,

too little of courage,

            of
daring,

                        of
persistence,

                                    of
sacrifice;

Too little of music

            and
laughter

                        and
celebration?

 

O God,

make of me some nourishment

            for
these starved times,

some food for my brothers
and sisters

            who
are hungry for gladness and hope,

that, being bread for them,

            I
may also be fed

                        and
be full.

 

~Amen

_____________________


Honesty with God leads to a transformation of your soul…when you change, your world changes and you change your world, bit by bit, moment by moment.

This prayer was penned by Ted Loder in one of my favorite books of prayer called "Gorilla's of Grace" If your looking for some great prayers of the heart check it out.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=deigratia-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&asins=0806690542

May the memories of this day in history cause us all to "Remember, Repent, and Return to God" because when we try to run this world separated from the God who made it, we becomes creators of loss instead of recipients of life.

Monty

   

Sometimes It Just Seems To Be Too Much…

Groundzerounderworld460 As I was spending some time praying this morning, I was, as many of you were, thinking about the events that happened on this day 9 years ago. Images were easily retrieved replaying the live news feeds of chaos in New York as two planes were evilly commandeered to become statements of hate when they were forced into the two towers.

Lives were taken…anguish created…questions reverberated…

I prayed today over those who are gone, but mostly for those who remain, and that I would live in such a way that my life might, in some small way, replenish slivers in the vortex of loss, disillusionment, and pain that exists, at least for those I encounter along the way.

Sometimes it just seems to be too much…sometimes the awareness of humanities wickedness or her apathy  just seems to be too much…sometimes it just seems as if we have dug to deep a whole for ourselves and will never get out…

This is when we need to realize that we have been graced by God to live an incarnational life. A life where we don't simply "do religious or good things", but a life that becomes a portal to allow God's goodness to flow through…there is a big difference.

Today is a day to choose to love and not to hate, to be honest with God, and to be honest with ourselves.

I read and ruminated on the following prayer today, and it spoke to where my heart had parked on this day of remembrance for 9-11. Pray through it and note the transition to be the answer of what we pray for..

_________________________

Sometimes, Lord,

it just seems to be too
much:

            too
much violence, too much fear;

            too
much of demands and problems;

            too
much of broken dreams and broken lives;

            too
much of wars and slums and dying;

            too
much of greed and squishy fatness

                        and
the sounds of people

                                    devouring
each other

                                                and
the earth;

            too
much of stale routines and quarrels,

                        unpaid
bills and dead ends;

            too
much of words lobbed in to explode

                        and
leaving shredded hearts and lacerated souls;

            too
much of turned-away backs and yellow silence,

                        red
rage and the bitter taste of ashes in my mouth.

Sometimes the very air seems
scorched

            by
threats and rejection and decay

                        until
there is nothing

                                    but
to inhale pain and exhale confusion.

Too much of darkness, Lord,

            too
much of cruelty

                        and
selfishness

                                    and
indifference…

 

Too much, Lord

            too
much,

                        too
bloody,

                                    bruising,

                                                brain-washing
much.

 

Or is it too little,

            too
little of compassion,

too little of courage,

            of
daring,

                        of
persistence,

                                    of
sacrifice;

Too little of music

            and
laughter

                        and
celebration?

 

O God,

make of me some nourishment

            for
these starved times,

some food for my brothers
and sisters

            who
are hungry for gladness and hope,

that, being bread for them,

            I
may also be fed

                        and
be full.

 

~Amen

_____________________


Honesty with God leads to a transformation of your soul…when you change, your world changes and you change your world, bit by bit, moment by moment.

This prayer was penned by Ted Loder in one of my favorite books of prayer called "Gorilla's of Grace" If your looking for some great prayers of the heart check it out.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=deigratia-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&asins=0806690542

May the memories of this day in history cause us all to "Remember, Repent, and Return to God" because when we try to run this world separated from the God who made it, we becomes creators of loss instead of recipients of life.

Monty