Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘tree’

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553): Adam and ...

Image via Wikipedia

I just spent the last few days out of town. I love to travel, but mostly when I travel, I travel out of the country, but this time it was only to a different state. Nothing exciting, just 3 hours away from my home. But this trip seemed at times to be a thousands miles way. Not sure why, but I think it was because I had a lot on my mind, and in a way I was thousands of miles away, not from home but from…. What I am not sure, it was/is just a feeling, and small feeling that seems to rest just on the inside of the door to my soul.

The small feeling, the one that is just on the inside of my soul most likely has been their for sometime. But the three hour car ride gave me time to reflect, time to open the door to my soul and seeing that small feeling just sitting there, waiting for me to open the door and find it. And I did, I found this small feeling, it was just sitting there, like it had been waiting for  months and years to be found. It wasn’t a new feeling, one that I have never had, rather it was an old feeling, one that I have walked around and stepped over for year and years. The dust and cobwebs that covered it were thick with pride. A pride that I have known for years, a pride that was and is eating away at this small feeling that was just on the inside of the door to my soul.

Pride, one of the seven capitol sins, and in many ways the root of all sin. It was pride that made Eve take that first bite, and pride that made Adam follow her in to sin. The proof of this, after they ate the fruit of the tree, they discovered they were naked. Their pride took over and they were now, for the first time, concerned at how they looked. Adam and Eve are the parents of pride, parents of the first sin.

Pride has kept me from seeing this small feeling just on the inside of the door to my soul, it cover it in a thick dust that hid it from my eyes, but that is what pride does, it hides the truth from you. We see this is our lives all the time, just like pride hid from Adam and Eve the beauty of their creation, pride has hidden from me this small feeling.

But the three hour drive gave me an insight, it gave me time to start to blow the dust and cobwebs off this small feeling, the one that was just on the inside of the door to my soul. I used the total of six hours to listen to some solidly Catholic talks on CD. Just before I left for my trip I selected a few talks on CD for my ride, you see I belong to the CD of the month club offered by Lighthouse media, a Catholic non-for-profit company that produces and distributes Catholic talks, and each month I get a new CD in the mail. Normally I would have listen to them as soon as I got them, but for the longest time I did not have a CD player in my car, and trying to listen to them at home, well lets just say that don’t work out to well. So I have a few un-listened to CD’s sitting around, so I gathered them up and placed them in my car.

A few days before I was to take this trip I decided I would break down and get a new stereo put in my car, one with a CD player. I just couldn’t deal with the drive with out some music or talk radio or something to help keep me company along the way. So with my talks on CD and a few select music CD’s I was ready for my trip. The funning thing is, I listened to only the talks, the the talks, well, they were perfect, I listened to all the talks I had, and when I pulled in the drive way at home, the last CD was played and I was listening to my Liberal CD. The timing was almost perfect, and it would have been if it were not for construction on the expressway.

God is good, He is good indeed!

The fact that the timing was almost perfect was not accident, it was divine.  Not only did the talks last as long as my drive time, but in a way each talk was talking about me, each talk was sending me, personally, a message. The titles of each talk were different, and the presenters were diverse, from priest to converts to new seminarians’.  But each talk was just perfect for what I  needed to hear. Each talk was given to me personally, it was like they wrote the talk just for me and just for this car ride.

God is good, He is good indeed!

The talks all had the same basic theme to them, pride and how pride is evil and how it tears you away from God and the life of perfection, how pride can and is slowly killing you, Non of the talks came out and said this, but this is what i heard. And more importantly it is what I needed to hear.

That small feeling, the one that is just on the inside of the door to my soul. The one I have been steeping over and moving around for years, that small feeling was dying, it was being eaten away by pride and if I didn’t do something soon it would be dead and nothing short of a miracle would bring it back to life. And the talks on the CD’s, well in a way they were the voice of God speaking to me and God was telling me “It is time to dust off the small feeling and to let it see the light of the I AM, to see the light of God”.

What a powerful message, one that will require a powerful conversion on my part. And one that I am not sure I am up to, but I will trust in the Lord and I will start to dust it off and see what lies under all the dust and cobwebs of pride. I will start the process of cleaning out my soul, to open the door up and let the wind of the Holy Spirit refresh and cleans my soul. I will allow the light of God to fill it, to illuminate it and to fill it with the warmth of Gods love. I will clear the way, and make a path for Jesus to enter in to my soul and to dwell there in a welcoming and comfortable environment.

So what is this small feeling, what is covered up with the dust and cobwebs of pride, it is forgiveness.   And how do I clear out the dust and cobwebs, by forgiveing, by placing aside my pride and forgiving. I have to learn to humble myself and forgive thouse who have hurt me and learn to forgive myself. This is going to be a long process, one that I am sure I will fail at several times, but than again there is a lot of dust the clear away ans the cobwebs can tangel me up. But with the grace of God and the prayers of others, I know I can do it.

God is good, He is good indeed!

God Bless

Paul

The Seven Capital Sins
1 Corinthians 1:18“[Christ the Wisdom and Power of God] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

This was sent to me from a friend in India, not sure who the original author is, he never stated it… But I thought I would share it…

Positive words.bmpI remember my dad teaching me the power of language  at a very young age. Not only did my dad understand that specific words affect our mental pictures, but he understood words are a powerful programming factor in lifelong success. 

One particularly interesting event occurred when I was eight. As a kid, I was always climbing trees, poles, and literally hanging around upside down from the rafters of our lake house. So, it came to no surprise for my dad to find me at the top of a 30-foot tree swinging back and forth. My little eight-year-old brain didn’t realize the tree could break or I could get hurt. I just thought it was fun to be up so high.

My older cousin, Tammy, was also in the same tree. She was hanging on the first big limb, about ten feet below me. Tammy’s mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad did. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I could hear the leaves start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I remember my dad’s voice over the wind yell, "Bart, Hold on tightly." So I did. The next thing I know, I heard Tammy screaming at the top of her lungs, laying flat on the ground. She had fallen out of the tree.

I scampered down the tree to safety. My dad later told me why she fell and I did not. Apparently, when Tammy’s mother felt the gust of wind, she yelled out, "Tammy, don’t fall!" And Tammy did. fall.     

My dad then explained to me that the mind has a very difficult time processing a negative image. In fact, people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at all. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling, her nine-year-old brain had to first imagine falling, then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined.

Whereas, my eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly. This concept is especially useful when you are attempting to break a habit or set a goal. You can’t visualize not doing something. The only way to properly visualize not doing something is to actually find a word for what you want to do and visualize that.

For example, when I was thirteen years old, I played for my junior high school football team. I tried so hard to be good, but I just couldn’t get it together at that age. I remember hearing the words run through my head as I was running out for a pass, "Don’t drop it!" Naturally, I dropped the ball.     

My coaches were not skilled enough to teach us proper "self-talk." They just thought some kids could catch and others couldn’t. I’ll never make it pro, but I’m now a pretty good Sunday afternoon football player, because all my internal dialogue is positive and encourages me to win. I wish my dad had coached me playing football instead of just climbing trees. I might have had a longer football career.           

Here is a very easy demonstration to teach your kids and your friends the power of a toxic vocabulary. Ask them to hold a pen or pencil. Hand it to them. Now, follow my instructions carefully. Say to them, "Okay, try to drop the pencil." Observe what they do.

Most people release their hands and watch the pencil hit the floor. You respond, "You weren’t paying attention. I said TRY to drop the pencil. Now please do it again." Most people then pick up the pencil and pretend to be in excruciating pain while their hand tries but fails to drop the pencil.   

The point is made.         

If you tell your brain you will "give it a try," you are actually telling your brain to fail. I have a "no try" rule in my house and with everyone I interact with. Either people will do it or they won’t. Either they will be at the party or they won’t. I’m brutal when people attempt to lie to me by using the word try.

Do they think I don’t know they are really telegraphing to the world they have no intention of doing it but they want me to give them brownie points for pretended effort? You will never hear the words "I’ll try" come out of my mouth unless I’m teaching this concept in a seminar. 

If you "try" and do something, your unconscious mind has permission not to succeed. If I truly can’t make a decision I will tell the truth. "Sorry John. I’m not sure if I will be at your party or not. I’ve got an outstanding commitment. If that falls through, I will be here. Otherwise, I will not. Thanks for the invite."             

People respect honesty. So remove the word "try" from your vocabulary. My dad also told me that psychologists claim it takes seventeen positive statements to offset one negative statement. I have no idea if it is true, but the logic holds true. It might take up to seventeen compliments to offset the emotional damage of one harsh criticism.           

These are concepts that are especially useful when raising children.

Ask yourself how many compliments you give yourself daily versus how many criticisms. Heck, I know you are talking to yourself all day long. We all have internal voices that give us direction.         

So, are you giving yourself the 17:1 ratio or are you shortchanging yourself with toxic self-talk like, " I’m fat. Nobody will like me. I’ll try this diet. I’m not good enough. I’m so stupid. I’m broke, etc. etc."   

If our parents can set a lifetime of programming with one wrong statement, imagine the kind of programming you are doing on a daily basis with your own internal dialogue. Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words.   

Notice when you or other people use them. 

But: Negates any words that are stated before it.               

Try: Presupposes failure.     

If: Presupposes that you may not.   

Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener.

Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen.

Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen (and implies guilt.)         

Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.             

Can’t/Don’t: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.       

Examples:           

Toxic phrase: "Don’t drop the ball!"   

Likely result: Drops the ball     

Better language: "Catch the ball!"   

Toxic phrase: "You shouldn’t watch so much television."             

Likely result: Watches more television.   

Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid. You might find yourself turning that TV off and picking up one of those books more often!"   

Exercise: Take a moment to write down all the phrases you use on a daily basis or any Toxic self-talk that you have noticed yourself

using. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them.

Read Full Post »

Working off of yesterdays blog about how we treat boys in this nation, I thought I would dive in to the problem a little more.

If we look at the boys being raised, how we as a society send such a mixed message to them, how parents want to raise soft and tender boy, boys with a heart. We want to raise boys as if they are not boys, we want to remove the boyness from boys.

The whole “pop” psychology thing of being in touch with your feelings and the how does that make you feel questioning of boys has, effectively, removed boyhood from boys. We have created a whole generation of boys that truly do not know how to be boys. Look around you, look at what our so called boys are doing.

One of the true signs that we have ventured to far off course is the simple fact The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Do By Conn Iggulden, Hal Igguldenthat we even have to talk about how boys should act. Look in the book stores, there are tons of books for parents on how to raise your boys and there is even a book for boys on how to be a boy…. Come on! Now I am not the most athletic person, truth be told, I really only like Baseball, and that passion only runs so deep in me. I sucked at playing sports as a boy, but, and I repeat, but no one had to tell me how to act as a boy, I was able to figure that all out on my own, thank you very much! Now some will say that i did not do a very good job at it, that my adventure as a boy lacked in some areas, and that would most likely be true. But I stand by the fact that I did not need a book nor did my parents need a book to tell me how to act as a boy, it was instinctive to me, my parents did not try to raise me any other way, they did not try to make me sensitive (I was by nature) nor did they try to make me sporty, they let me grow up who I was and treaded me as a boy.

What’s that mean, treaded me as a boy…

I was encouraged to play out side, to get messy to climb trees to make forts to play cops and robbers to use my imagination to create exciting new worlds for me to explore, to get holes in my jeans and to do all the other things that boys do. Being a boy  is an adventure in misadventures, it’s being allowed to fall and being told to get back up again and do it all over, and if you fall again, well that’s life. It being allowed to make mistakes and to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, to learn from experience that you just don’t say that to little girls.

Creating new worlds with only a stick from the big oak tree in your back yard and your imagination, that is boyhood at it’s best, play dates and structured time (or at least to much of it) is in opposition to boyhood, it removes the opportunity for spontaneity of a boy, creating a programmable boy and not a living boy.

What have we done to our boys? How did we get to this point? All in the name of woman’s liberation, in our efforts to create equality we have dummied  downed our boys, stripped them of boyness to create a non-gender rather than celebrating the two unique genders we have.

We need to get back to the basics, boys are boys and girls are girls, that’s all there is to it. We are different, one is not better than the other, just different from each other. Now here is were I will get in trouble, but such is life. There are something’s that boys do better than girls and girls do better than boys. There are some actions that are all boy and some that are all girl. That’s just the way it is, sorry but we are not the same, we are equal in the fact that we are humans, that we are created by God, but our equality does not translate in to sameness, we are not the same, we are two different creations with two very different and distinct callings and skill sets. It’s just nature, a fact of life, try as we may (and have over that last 40 years) we cannot make boys in to girls, nor girls in to boy. We are separate genders and we can not make a new non-gender to fit our own selfish needs.

It’s time we accept the fact that boys are boys and girls are girls…

Paul

Read Full Post »

The last 2 days here in Michigan have been mild; the temps have been in the 40’s and today a light rain in falling. Spring is on its way! Yesterday I went outside just to look around, it has been so long since I have seen my grass and plants, I just wanted to look.  Mostly I noticed that everything is dead, that winter has taken a toll on my lawn and plants, I’m not concerned because I know that they will “spring” back to life soon. I love spring time, with all the new growth and the smells that return with the changing of the season.

As I looked around and was imagining what I might do this year in the gardens I notice that one of my trees’s, a Japanese Maple, was budding. There on each branch where tiny little buds, little pods of life waiting to break free, to feel life for the first time, to soak in the warmth of the sun and sway in the breeze, to experience life as a new.

In a way I am very jealous of that bud, it is changing in to a beautiful creation, transforming in to a wonder before my very eyes, and all it is doing is what it is made to do. No effort is put forth beyond what it is created for. This bud attends no classes on how to be a better bud, or how to make the most of your buddness. Nope, this bud is just doing what it was created for, it is becoming a leaf.

How wonderful of it, how simplistic of it and how grand. This tiny bud is becoming what it meant to become. No self-help books were read no seminars attended, it just is. This bud knows what it will be, and where it will go without being counseled or couched. No amount of positive talk will make it better than it already is and no TV doctor can create a new and better bud that this one. In its simplicity it is perfect and in its buddness it is perfection. I am truly jealous!

Humanity has placed upon itself conditions that create imperfection of the perfect creation. We are created in our maker’s likeness, we are created out of love, yet we find no perfection in our humanness and we find no love in our loveless. Unlike the bud that knows only how to be a bud, we, in our humanness, know nothing about how to be us. We seek others to help define what is already defined, we read and research ways to become, yet the bud just becomes, we try and fail, yet with the bud there is no trying and failing only doing and succeeding.

The complexity of life that we choose to live in has created a loneliness of soul, a loneliness that causes us to search for other us’s, us’s that already know, others that have become. Yet with all the searching we do we never seem to find the us that is truly us. We look to others for help, we cry out to the world, yet no one seems to hear. We cry out to be like that bud, yet we cannot be, for we are us.

I envy that bud, so simple yet so complex. The change it needs to perform is natural and automatic, it has not past to hold it back, it only has a future to draw it out. The bud knows no limits to its change; it will become a leaf regardless of what it may want. The bud of that tree will fulfill its destiny, it will become a leaf.

Humanity is of a fallen nature, we have sinned, and the sin of time holds us back, stunts our growth and creates chaos in an ordered world. We are not like that bud, whose plans must be followed, we are a creation of thought and action, we are a creation of love and hate, we are a creation created for struggles and strife. Yet each day we strive to create a new us, a new world, one in which we can shine and achieve the usness we were created for.

No, I pity that bud in its budness, it cannot think, nor can it choose, it is a bud, simple as that. No I do not wish I was like that bud, I am glad I am me, in all my humanness and chaos I am complete.

The searching for betterment of us is in the perfect plan of the loveness that created the imperfection of us.

 

Paul

Read Full Post »