It's easy to critique the works of others and get your work critiqued. Just follow the steps below:
1) Post your first piece.
2) You must then critique the work of another member to post another piece yourself.
3) For each critique you give, you earn 1 credit that can be used to post another one of your writings.
4) You can build up credits to be used at another time by giving critiques to others.
Our Daily Devotional
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.
TRUST JESUS TODAY
The following are samples of a book I am working towards. They are written from the perspective of, to put is simplisticly, the bosses of the little angel and devil on your shoulder. It is a work in progress.
TO: Esteemed Minister Malis
FROM: Ministry Officer Vulminax
CONCERNING: Release of proprietary information / damage control
Esteemed Minister Malis,
This memorandum is to inform you of the nature of the recent information leak, as well as the steps involved in assessing and controlling the damage. I can assure you, Minister, that effective measures have been applied to both Nagford and Kluflex. Their chief protests were, of course, that the enemy was involved in some kind of conspiracy. Though I agreed with them it did not deter me from my duty, and my pleasure, in punishing them both mercilessly.
I should hasten to add one very important fact. Kluflex is not, in any way, an expert on the human soul. He is, like all such ilk, mainly familiar with the tricks of his trade, owing his position in the ministry largely to suckling at heels rather than skill.
Regarding the letters intercepted from the enemy: they have proven extremely hazardous to handle, and terrible to look upon. However, our team of experts has finally managed to render a usable translation suitable for those with eyes that cannot take in their deadly glare. They are, thankfully, now not as potent as the originals. I am sorry to report that their intelligence value is minor, as they are chalked full of the typical simpering emotional fluff of the enemy's love. They're enough to make me vomit.
I have enclosed some samples of the contraband in question for your inspection, and would like to again assure you, that no further information leaks will occur.
Greatest respect and admiration,
Ministry Officer Vulminax
5th House, Infernal Affairs
It has been some time since I have last written you, and I assure you that it is out of no fault of kindness that I am writing to you now. As you are well aware, the post offices are rather in disarray in Our Father's house below. Torture, no matter how refined, cannot always guarantee the highest efficiency from these cattle, and letters have been lost from time to time, as in that unfortunate incident that we now refer to as "The Screw-up Letters" found and published by that most disreputable and disgusting Oxford professor. Fortunately, the human vermin mostly regard them as of superficially intellectual amusement, and the damage has been minimal – save for that poor idiot and his nephew. Still, another similar incident is to be avoided and I have circumvented the usual routes in order to guarantee their safe delivery myself. Having secured my fare share of souls in Our Father's house below and having been promoted to a much coveted post in the Ministry of the Interior, I find myself in the useful position of giving you field-men some much needed advice.
I happened to 'stumble' over one of your last reports in which you gladly stated that your subject is well on his way to becoming a racist, and I must say excellent work! Racism was a favorite subject of mine in my old College days, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to give you reams of good advice on the subject.
Since you said that your man is a bit of a 'thinker', as you call it, you should tread lightly. Don't let him pursue his own thought processes on the subject too deeply or the game is up. Done properly, like all the tricks of the trade, you can keep your so called 'thinker' walking in a perfect spiral straight down to our doorstep without ever so much as crossing a line.
Now, as we all know, He made the human races different from one another with a specific purpose in the same way that he made two different varieties of human beings. The enemy wants them to be humble by admitting their weaknesses so that they can then draw strength from their differences in order to prepare them for their eventual relationship (He calls it 'marriage') with Him. What we want is for them to feel so arrogant in their supposed superiority that they feel revulsion towards anything different from themselves. As you no doubt surmised, this tactic works well in undoing the bonds between men and women as it does between the different human races. Therefore, what we want is to highlight those weaknesses themselves, but obscure their purpose. Once that is obscured, they can see their fellow vermin as being racially or genetically or culturally inferior to themselves after which everything becomes much easier. Your subject may then feel entitled to look down on his supposed inferiors without feeling a sense of guilt, since such condescension stems from what he regards as pity rather than loathing for "those poor, backwards savages". Such resentments serve as lovely jabs at the enemy's design, and can greatly aid in securing your subjects soul.
You should read Glurrdle's textbook essays on Dehumanization and Hypocrisy, most useful during the golden years of the humans' second Great War, and which still finds good use in some of the poorer countries of the world. Remember the old adage, "Black and White is always right!" If you can get him focused tightly on placing worldly things into a 'bad' and 'good' context (loosely defined) it will be a snap of the fingers to focus him on placing racial and cultural differences in the same context. And, since they are all such self-centered little things, they will always place their race and their culture in the 'good' bin in the blink of an eye despite any clear evidence to the contrary. In this manner, you can get a man to exclaim his disgust at the results of our own labors on one human race's culture and in the same breath laugh at or loudly praise the same work in his own culture simply on the basis that they are 'familiar' and therefore 'good'. Or, if he happens to notice the contradiction, you can get him to justify it by labeling it as 'civilized'.
Above all, what you must avoid is allowing him to take particular notice of those qualities of the enemy in the other races, or, if he does, to reduce his impression of them to something of a trivial and non-commercial quality. Never allow him to lose that practiced sense of superiority, and as an added bonus he may be well on his way to being either a chauvinist or a snob. Either way, the lack of humility will be a welcome paving stone to the road of his eventual journey to Our Father's house below.
Your delightful cousin,
Dear brother Maewen,
I send you this letter to congratulate you on your new posting as a guardian angel. Your laurels are well deserved, brother. Doubtless, you are very curious about the convention of this letter, and I feel that some explanation should be made. You see, as you are now attached to a mortal heart, you will soon begin to understand the true nature of a guiding and guarding spirit. Unlike you, your protégé will not drink in the pure expression of thought. He is not ready for that cup yet, and will, at the best of times, only sip from it. So, I will speak to you in the manner of mortals, to help you become accustomed to what I lovingly name their "patch-work" vision. Fear not, for I have had much practice in this ancient art. My mentor taught this method to me when I held the noble position you now occupy. It is with a glad heart that I share his gift to me with you. I know from experience that this position is a bittersweet one. From your instruction, you know that this post is life-long, and cannot be lain down till the protégé is discharged from their mortality.
There are some words of warnings that, in all love and friendship, I offer to you. The first is this; no matter how deep the despair of his suffering, you must endure with him to give him Our Father's message of hope. These children cannot see the end of the light in their lives, or know with true certainty that death, though bitter, is not the final end. There is much they suspect, and do not know, so that it is their faith alone which leads them to that which they could not willingly choose. However, some will fall into despair, and be won over by the darkness. Fear not, for Our Father has the final victory, as we see. However, even until his last breath is gasped, you must strive, for even in his final moment can he find salvation. No victory more sweet than snatching Our Father's children from the clutches of a life of sin in that last moment when they allow themselves to see what they have blinded themselves to, and receive the cup from Our Father. Though I disdain any discord against the symphony of heaven, I would almost dare to say that the wailing of our enemies' despair in that final defeat is a sweet music.
Your brother in love,
It was kind of you to reply to my last letter so promptly. However, I should like to request that you avoid too much reference to my own reading of your reports, as they are sometimes classified and it might cause an embarrassing situation for some people here in the office. Nevertheless, I am happy to hear that your efforts are going so well, and that your man's soul is virtually in hand.
I am glad to hear that your subject is so concerned with finding a 'real job'. Encouraging his doubt in the enemy's Providence is the key to herding him into the drudgery of an unfulfilling occupation. Get him thinking that even the most basic pleasures in life require large sums of money or the things that cost money such as an expensive car, house, or education. Do not allow him to see them as materialistic wants, however, but rather as necessities of life. Then, bend his mind fully on the acquisition of those things so that his happiness and contentment are things that he perceives he will one day be allowed to have but for the moment must forgo in order to get them. Try to make sure he finds himself in a cubicle away from the air and light staring at a screen for 8 hours a day. You want your man wound so tightly that he feels he can neither move nor breath, but can then also totter about with very controlled movements and a great deal of nervous, frustrated energy. Really get him to focus externally, and then relate that to everything he feels internally. If he feels depressed or cross, then he must think it is because he has had 'a bad day at work', even though that day was virtually identical in thought and deed to every other day he's had at his job. Always switch his signals around. When there is an external problem, get him to internalize so that he bottles it up and when there is an internal problem get him to externalize so that he avoids dealing with it. This will balance his energies like a valve, so that he can pop off on others upon command. I had a most amusing subject trained to this method so well that he was despised by all his coworkers as a loudmouthed fool, and at the same time never said anything that was really on his mind! The stress of it built so gradually that he died prematurely of a heart-attack in traffic and ran over someone's foot. That was a good day!
However, I must admit that my own advancement was largely due to the sort of complacency my subjects placed on the state of their own souls as your man does – some not even admitting that there is such a thing, delightfully. Just a word to the wise, don't get too much into the habit of enjoying your remaining time by over-indulging yourself. I imagine by now your man responds to jealousy, fear, pride, hatred, and lust in much the same manner as a performing dog and amusing at it is, let us not forget the tasks at hand. Your fellow tempters will still need your assistance in securing the souls of his friends, relatives, and coworkers, so use a tight leash. You never want your subject to fall into complete abandon so as to wake up others to the true cause of his actions, or to disassociate with him and render him useless to us. The miserable, monotonous dullness of contempt and rejection for his fellow man that the humans call 'tolerance', when balanced and regulated properly can be a true work of art. You can get your subject to swallow a virtual sewer as long as it is given to him steady drop by drop.
Your delightful cousin,
Dear Brother Maewyn,
Concerning your last question, the gift of suffering is indeed alien to those of our order, but it is still important for us to understand. The leading and protection of our protégés is natural enough, as natural as a mother's love. However, it is not the mother's love and affections that makes the boy into a man. Quite often, the good seed is cast on hard ground, and yet there it thrives despite wind and weather.
Now, the mortal heart may be tempted by the enemy to believe that Our Father is unmerciful and harsh in making suffering His tool of glorification, for often they cannot see the difference between suffering for something and suffering because of something. The difference is desire. The suffering a parent endures, out of a desire to raise and love its child is, in the minds of men, inconsequential and immaterial. When they consider the value or, (forgive a mercenary term)"cost" of their child, it is measured in more than weight of meat and potatoes, as our enemy has led some of them to believe so that the butchers might have rule. Some might, by the enemies suggestion believe that any decent parent would have done the same, which is true, but then be led to believe that parenthood is in itself a default decency. A mother of our fold, who remembers the pain of childbirth, remembers it without blame, but as a blessing. For, in her loving heart she knows that this which is dearly bought is bought dearly.
It is also desire that is the danger, brother Maewyn. It is why mortals brought suffering into the world in the beginning of their arduous journey. To be like gods is in their will, but only a true understanding of God's will can make anyone godlike. The lie of a forked tongue splits truth in twain, and thus have men been divided from Our Father by seeing him as they now see themselves, and indeed, all things: as both good and evil. Therefore, they will see natural affection as good, when it is in fact, natural. The difference between the good and the perfect will forever be a puzzle for them, brother, for nothing in the circle they inhabit is perfect, as they see it. Therefore, the suffering they endure will seem to them good, and they endure it grudgingly, or bad, and they endure it bitterly. The idea our enemy torments them with is the idea of meaningless suffering, but he has long striven to make all things seem meaningless, since Our Father made meaning. The idea of perfect suffering, which we strive to show them in Christ, seems to them abhorrent. It is the price of salvation in a world where sin has made entry. This idea of perfection, Maewyn, is hardest for mortals to fathom. The very word, perfect, seems to their perceptions of the finite and limited, a cheat. Yet, it lived and breathed and walked among them.
Always strive to keep your protégé's mind away from the idea of "good" or "useful" suffering as he sees it, and instead reveal in his mind the perfect suffering of Christ, for him. Our Father's gift of grace makes clear through the cross: perfect suffering and perfect love, in a world of sin, go hand in hand. Our task is to reveal their suffering to them not as good or bad, but Christ-like. So, when the rain drives and the wind tears, they sting the skin but not the heart. It is turmoil and turbulence that fill the sails of a mortal vessel. It is our duty to reveal to them that with Christ as their compass, though it rain bitter tears, they can find hope.
Your brother in love,
My dear cousin,
We are pleased to hear that your subject has found himself a job that he despises, yet which pays him very well. This is exactly the sort of drudgery we want. The last thing we need is for him to be in a job were he feels productive and fulfilled. Now, I know that the obvious thing to do at this point is to try and build in him a great desire for wealth, and turn him into a materialist. However, from what I read of your man, he doesn't strike me as particularly greedy. Therefore, what I suggest here is a more drastic but rewarding approach. Try instead to build up his fear of poverty rather than is love of wealth. You see, dear Nagford, if you get your subject in love with money, and he begins to see it as vain or greedy, you will have to constantly argue uphill by struggling against his nature. I can assure you it is exhausting work, and the path to Our Father's House below is a downward slope, not upward. Therefore, if you instill in him a healthy fear of poverty, and he begins to slip from it, you can always give him a sharp reminder from time to time when he sees a homeless person or a beggar. Make sure in those cases, however, that he does not see the humanity of such people, but solely their conditions. Remember, you want him to react with revulsion rather than compassion. Fortunately, your man is not the dreadful sort that would regard poverty as a trial of the flesh, as some of the great warriors on the enemy's side have done. So, press in him the need for constant acquisition in order to shore up his fortress with meaningless material objects that make him feel safe. I hope that you remember Professor Glugboat's lectures from our College days on spiritual inflation. My favorite quote of his was "In the grand dissonance of Our Father Below's noise, the distraction of material things is like the timpani that crushes out the horrible music of heaven." However, the same tendency towards distraction that lures them to us can lure them away, witless beasts that they are. Thus we have the organized distraction of materialism to act as the dangling carrot. Keep him busy in it, for the deadliest weapon against this tactic is calm and silence, where the subject might possibly discern the serenity of the enemy or the concussive mortar of the spiritual battlefield through which they trod, oblivious.
The brilliance of spiritual inflation is that, as the spiritual emptiness inside your patient gets larger, material gratification grows smaller. Like a man stuffing himself with food while dying of thirst. The more he eats, the worse it gets, until he is spiritually starved. The constant need for more eventually becomes cyclical and self-sustained until the subject is engorged to the point that they fall apart. Then, Nagford, we are in the crucial position! In his arrogant refusal to recognize which part of him hungers and thirsts, the patient is starved to the degree where they are ready to receive us. I recommend either new-age spiritualism or occultism as the flavor of this generation, for he'll have many compatriots.
With great effort, we have gotten these ridiculous humans so mixed up about the law of Times and Seasons to the point that they are perpetually terrified of going without, want everything now, and enjoy nothing of what they have once they've gotten it. Getting them to take everything for granted, and yet constantly struggling against the natural fluctuation of life is not only wicked good fun, but keeps them in the twilight of the human condition where we are strongest. So, the first thing you must do is blur in your subject the lines between spiritual poverty and worldly poverty to the point where the two are indistinguishable. As we all know, spiritual poverty is a powerful tool in our hands, and worldly poverty a powerful tool for the enemy. A man who is rich in spirit can withstand some of our most brutal assaults, but a man poor in spirit will welcome our miseries no matter how much money he has. Just make sure to relate words like "poverty" and "the poor" to him as physical sensations rather than conditions. The more you clutter his mind with misleading imagery and false fears, the less likely he will be to ever allow himself to face such conditions. Properly motivated, your man will not only continue with his drudgery but will actually be grateful for it, if it keeps him from the poor house. However, you shouldn't be content with cracking the whip over him from time to time. Fear is just the leaf and branch, but what you really want is your subject to be rooted in his condition, and I am delighted to tell you how.
Now, we all know that fear is simply trust in the enemy's providence that has been twisted into doubt, and is Our Father below's grand Law in Eden. However, the root of such doubts and the foundations of Hell itself is the human desire to control its own fate. The brilliance of the Law in Eden is that it springs right out of the core of the human design. You see, when He created the humans, he did it in His own image (He would, you know), and one aspect of that image was control over their hearts and actions. He designed them in this way so that they could not only serve Him and find purpose and fulfillment, but also freely choose to love him rather than be puppets subject to His will. Therein lies their weakness! This self-control can, with patience and craftiness, be turned into willful ambition. In the same manner that you twist his faith into fear, you may twist his self-control into self-will. Keep in mind however, that doubt in the enemy is founded entirely on the Law in Eden and is therefore something that can be destroyed, unhappily, by His presence. With such a constant risk of His exposure to the patient, however dim and hazy it may seem to him, doubt and fear are best only used in short burst or controlled waves. So, during the Great Blockade, self-will should be a more practical tactic.
Once you twist his fears and desires to control his own heart and actions into a desire to create his own destiny, the subject will abandon any purpose but his own. Obscure from his mind any question of Ultimate purpose, and he will be left with a fruitless existence driven only by his own ambition to acquire and control that which he can never really have, and the trifling pleasures of the moments will be swallowed up by the impermanence of a temporal life. Once the subject believes that his happiness is solely the product of his own will and actions, it is a stroll down cherry lane. What better world than one in which human actions have no meaning, joys are fleeting or nonexistent, and from which the enemy appears entirely absent! Keep up the good work.
Your delightful cousin,
Dear Brother Maewyn,
I hope that our hands and hearts were helpful to you. Your letters were so filled with your protégé's despondency that Our Father sounded the horns and sent us to the hunt! Once, when I was young and unknowing, I asked Our Father why we could not always sound the horns and throw back the enemy from his struggling children. He did not correct my foolishness, but said lovingly "I draw breath for the final trumpet" So, we must be content between breaths.
Be of good cheer and comfort, brother. The crest of this wave is well in sight, and your protégé will soon be bourn up on it. I am sorry that he has yet to hear you, and has left his open-heart blind to Our Father. We must continue to work within his closed-heart until his eyes open.
You write of your protégé's trouble with work and labors. My records state that he is not genuinely lazy, but very proud. Since he feels that his talents and gifts are not recognized or validated, (a validation that only his Father can provide), he tends to regard certain jobs as beneath him. Work to blend his zeal for work he is good at with patience for work he struggles with. The need for humility is obvious, but what you must guard him against is his own pride. We all remember him of us who fell, and his pride. Be on him with wing and word when he finally feels ashamed of this false pride, and provide him with good council. His conscience is not underdeveloped, so you should have good opportunities to make headway. Do not be troubled if his ears do not hear, for his heart is fertile ground. Be patient until the flower is ready to bloom. And, if it be an evil flower that grows up, still we can tend the garden.
Our brother, Tans'l, sends word and makes a gift of strength to you both. He is a shameless journeyman, bless him. He cruelly taunts me by joking about the "weighty matters" of celestial order until I am forced to smile or laugh. I'm too dull-witted to counter, but I lose no happiness over it. It is his place, after all.
My dear cousin Nagford,
Your last letter did nothing to assuage my concerns that you were entirely to blame for this whole rotten turn of events. And, dear cousin, I would hate to see you try and pin the blame on any advice I have given you, as it would be most unfortunate if you did. Did you listen to nothing I told you? Where were you when he was associating with people who were obviously the enemy? You mentioned nothing about it in any of your reports, and there will be Hell to pay for those omissions. Better to out and admit that your subject is spending time with the enemy than let something like this happen.
From what I gather, your subject became curious about the whole idea of Truth from reading a Christian book. Now, your first step was right when you pointed him towards all the deliciously ridiculous varieties of human dogmas and trite clichés. However, here you made a fatal mistake! You allowed your man to reason his way through it! You must never, EVER allow them to reason, especially about Christianity! Reason means they are thinking by themselves first of all, which is always bad. Secondly, reason is His invention for discovering the Truth! You never hand your subject a sword of the enemy and let it swing it about as it pleases, unless you enjoy losing an eye or a hand.
I understand why you let it happen. Like many junior tempters, you have taken for granted the modern age's atmosphere of pseudo-scientific rationale tailored together by our control of the modern media. You should have known, however, that science and rationale were not always used as a means to an end as they now are. We worked very hard to twist them into our own tools, yet at their heart they remain in His keeping.
Still, your man isn't yet a Christian, so we have time on our side, so, all is not lost. And, even if (though I fear to mention it), he were to become a Christian, it doesn't mean that he will be sincere or serious about it. A lot of humans start to feel preachy and philosophical as they get older and decide that it might be time to pick a religion and start paying God protection money. And yet, they still seek to enjoy the life of Sin that we provide for them. In a way, these "Christians" are even better than sinners, as they provide us with our favorite sport: the match up between dogmatic zealot and disenchanted cynic.
Your delightful cousin,
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
REMEMBER, this is a Critique Circle. Please try to give a critique to receive a critique. If you do not want to give any critiques, you can use the REGULAR ARTICLE SUBMISSION area. If you are unsure about how to critique, please use the CRITIQUE GUIDELINES and CRITIQUE TIPS.
To view your critiques that you receive on any writing, login to your account and click "CRITIQUE CIRCLE MANAGEMENT" to view all of your critiques and edit each piece. Then, click "VIEW CRITIQUES" next to the article title to view critiques on that piece. Comments on all of your writings when using the Critique Circle will not be displayed publicly as regular and writing challenge articles. They can only be viewed by accessing them from your account.