I Am Guilty!

 

Every once in a while I learn a lesson in the oddest places. Today I had to look in the mirror, and I do not like what I saw.

I was watching Oprah’s show “Next Chapter”  the guest being Kelsey Grammer. I will  say right up front I have been guilty of judging him on the fact that he walked away from his family, and the way he did it. I thought it was…well, I just did not think it was a very nice thing to do and I decided he was not as nice a guy as I once thought he was. Of course I formed my former opinion of him off of a character he played on TV. I loved Dr. Frasier Crane! When I heard the things that were happening between him and his wife I decided he was a pretty selfish person. Not just selfish but mean.

I have not really given it much thought, since originally forming that opinion, other than to be reminded how much I disliked this person when I would hear his name or see him on TV.

Lets face it, I always say we all have choices to make and our circumstances should not keep us from being the best person we can be.  Having said that, and I am not making excuses for him, I am making an observation, that unless I have walked a mile in his shoes I should keep my opinions to myself. Remember, lesson being learned. I strive to be an encourager not a judge.  And the point has been made !

Today I was reminded yet again why we should never judge others. Why? What did I hear that reinforced this lesson?

Here is the short answer…..

I don’t know how many people are aware of his history, I have never heard of anyone with such a tragic life.  Oprah said the same and I’m pretty sure she has seen/heard of many tragedies!  Kelsey has been through a lot beginning with his Grandfather, who he looked to as a father, dying when he was 12. Then 1 year later his father was lured out of his house by a fire set on his lawn and  shot to death by a deranged man! Then in 1975 his 18-year-old sister, Karen, was abducted by strangers and repeatedly raped and then stabbed 42 times and left for dead……Kelcey had to go to Colorado to ID the body; he was only 20 years old! Then 5 years later his twin half brothers were both killed in a freak scuba diving accident!

I can’t even imagine. I have been on my spiritual journey for years and don’t make all the right choices. How can I even begin to know what a person, who has had to endure such tragedies their entire life, thinks when he makes his life decisions? If I needed a reminder that we do not know what motivates a person to make the decisions they make- well I got a great one here!  We do not know what a person has lived through that can cause such pain and of course this pain affects the choices they make!

After this I will only do what I should have done all along, pray for him as well as anyone else in this life to make the best decisions they can for themselves and those around them! As I said…I strive to be an encourager! I may have gotten a little off track but I thank God for always knowing how to set me straight again!

 

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Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace……….

A little side note before we start….
Sometimes when I write, I go all over the place. LOL I try to stay on topic. If I wander off…please know, I will always return to the topic! And somehow…. where I have went applies! Stay with me….read on…..

The prayer of St. Frances has been on my mind this morning. Every once in a while things will weigh heavily on me, and this is one of those times.

I prayed this prayer this morning……

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

After saying my morning prayer I answered emails. I found a post on Facebook about abortion, always a nice controversial subject! The post was about how government should not be allowed to tell a women whether she can have an abortion or not. The replies to the post were, as expected, divided. And began a sadness within me. One side feeling abortion is wrong, no matter what the circumstances! The other side feeling that women should have the option, regardless of circumstances; but at the very least when a pregnancy is the result of rape OR if there is a medical reason.
None of the replies were unexpected for this kind of debate.

My heart was heavy as I read the replies because they were, in some cases, angry and not very nice. One in particular stood out for me. One poster made the comment that a woman should have the option, especially when it is dealing with a “rape baby”.
That was about all my heart could take. I wondered how someone could make that comment….. I was under the impression that when people choose abortion they were almost always, if not always, of the opinion that a baby is not a baby until it breathes life into it’s lungs; therefore abortion is not murder! Or so they feel. How can it be murder if the abortion is just removing material that one day would be a baby, but is not yet? I understood, did not agree, but understood where they were coming from. But this? This comment put it plain and simple…..you are terminating a “rape baby” …… a baby…..

As I began to get angry at this comment, it occurred to me that we are not our brothers keeper. We can’t be responsible for what others do in this life. And again…I do understand why people are upset and not using control when replying to this post. I mean…I’m about a minute away from being one of those angry posters!

I get it….just try and stop people from caring about the subject of abortion.
Interesting though that if they are on our side…if they care about the unborn child, then that is OK. As long as they agree with us, it is easy to remain calm and have a discussion about this subject! What about those who do not see it as we do? Is it right to have heated debates with them, ones that deteriorate into screaming matches filled with name calling; as in the post that I was reading?
I do not feel that it is. It is not our job to judge others for their beliefs. That is between them and God…not between them,God and ME or YOU.
We have enough to deal with just trying to be the best that we can be and to encourage others to do the same. And who are we to judge them if they are not living up to what we feel is their “best”? That is not our job. So why do we go around telling others, in usually very colorful language, that what they think, feel, believe…is wrong! Why do we even think that would work? LOL There is a reason that God said…..
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. LUKE 6:37
OR
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? LUKE 6:41

God’s Word never fails. There are reasons that it fits into each generation.. HIS words are timeless. It is pretty simple, but apparently one of the hardest things man has to accomplish. Do not judge others. It is not our job to do so. And if you find yourself in the unenviable position of having to judge another…seek God’s guidance. HE may just lead you away from the situation, so that you will not have to judge another. But you will never know if you do not ask.

So what does the Prayer of St Frances have to do with this? Well….”make me an instrument of your peace” that is the verse, among others, that stuck with me as I read the replies to the original poster on the subject of abortion. There was such judgement. And hostility. And I wondered…” what are they really accomplishing here?” and so I commented, with the following.

“It is so sad when you read things like “rape baby” and hear about ending innocent lives. But I think that is the issue….not everyone believes that it is actually a life at that moment, some people do not feel a baby is a baby until it breathes it’s first breath. I think there are people who feel it is a possibility of a life, but not actually a life…yet. At any rate……we all have different opinions on the subject. It is not our job to judge others…it is our job to answer for our own lives.”

I wrote a post that was honest and exactly what I felt; and I believe, encouraged peace. It started by expressing sadness at what I was reading, especially the “rape baby” comment. It went on to try to understand where others were coming from, others who do not hold the same believes as I do. It ended with expressing my believe that we..or at least I, cannot judge others, as it is not my job.

This is where I stand. I stand on the side of my truth; the truth as I understand it…between God and Me. And that is where you will always find me ( I pray). It is never my intention to judge and it is always my intention to be an instrument of peace……but no matter what we say or do, not everyone will agree. As a matter of fact…..other people, good people, will see what I am saying as a sin against God. Others will interpret my actions as those of a Godless person. And they do.
And again…all I can say is…it is not my job to judge and in the end….I have to answer to God and I have to live my life with that knowledge.

Peace
Christine

Four Questions That Can Change Your Life…….

“Four Questions That Can Change Your Life……” that is what the book claimed…….

I am currently listening to an audio book by Byron Katie entitled “Loving What Is…..”  I have heard this book and author mentioned many times but never had the opportunity (meaning I never bothered to look up the book) to read it. This is recommended reading, as far as I am concerned, for anyone that struggles with issues of self defeating thoughts.

When I started listening to the introduction and heard the story of how Byron Katie herself had struggled with severe depression and heard her story, through her own words and in the case of the audio, in her own voice, when I listened it had me thinking….how terribly harsh it sounded. I admit that it was sad to listen to it. I would find it sad to hear anyone talk about how they, at times, could not get out of bed for days and that their children were afraid to walk past their bedroom door in fear of incurring their wrath! That is some serious depression. And then she goes on to explain how one day she woke up and was a totally different person. Her book is an instruction manual on how she did this and how you can do it to if you apply the four questions and the “turn around” to issues in your own life.

It sounds so simple and really it is…..but it is a bit of an aha moment when you hear it…..simple yes….. profound, yes.

In the audio you actually get to hear Katie talking to people who have issues and hear her walk them through the 4 steps and hear them as they realize the answer.

Katie has a website at  thework.org at this website you will find information on how to use the work as well as downloads of worksheets and videos about the Work.  There is a wealth of information at her website and all for free. At the website you can also read about her for profit program called Turnaround House. It is a very expensive ( $20,000…I think that is expensive) in house 28 day program that has apparently changed many lives.

A lot of, if not all of, the remaining parts of Katie’s program are free. The money raised from Turnaround House goes to support all of the other ventures…such as getting free copies of “Loving What Is…” in any non profit org that requests them.   Katie holds events all over the world about these 4 simple questions…and helps many people.

It appears that Katie does a lot to help others and much of her work is free.  I am impressed at the generosity she expresses….I have read stories of her even inviting people to Turnaround House on what I would guess is a scholarship or Grant.

I am not finished, actually only beginning the book and may want to post more once I am finished. I was just inspired to let others know about it based on the small amount of info I had read. If you are wanting to read an interesting book on self-awareness…growth….definitely in the realm of Psychology…….whatever you want to call it….may I recommend this one?