Apostasy

dictionary with letter A

Apostasy (n.): abandonment of a belief or principle.

Fascinating.

In actuality, I have abandoned many beliefs in order to embrace principles.

For when reality takes hold in your life, you realize that any notion of God which is not in synchronization with nature is superstition rather than truth.

And in like manner, any reverence for a natural order that does not in some way include a creative force is believing that life occurs in adulthood with no reverence for the birthing egg.

I guess in many ways I practice apostasy all the time–because I am equally as disillusioned with religion as I am with the secular world. I am perpetually unimpressed with the presence of a practice that ignores reason and the appearance of a reasonability that denies faith.

So on the occasions that I sit around with my brothers and sisters and listen to the common conversation proffered, I often find myself internally asking more questions than actually receiving enlightenment.

Many years ago I decided to abandon an agenda.

  • I am not a promoter of the Republican or the Democratic party.
  • I do not particularly find the Judeo-Christian form of governing spirituality to be edifying.
  • And I certainly cannot go along with the populist view that my family is “more special than anyone else in the world” simply because it was conjugated from my sperm.

Sooner or later what we call apostasy becomes a gentle move of common sense towards inclusion.

Often it’s just including good information.

Usually it involves including others without prejudice.

But honestly, mostly it includes the possibility that since knowledge has expanded, there is the chance that it will continue to do so.

Locking ourselves into a prison of platitudes is the best way to end up looking foolish to our grandchildren.

I guess I’m apostate–because I’m not satisfied with what I’ve discovered.

What I have uncovered has only made me hunger and thirst for more.

 

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Apoplectic

dictionary with letter A

Apoplectic (adj.) 1. informal overcome with anger. 2. dated relating to apoplexy (stroke).

If anger is a turd, then rage is a pile of manure. And if we were able to deal with our turds, we wouldn’t have to shovel our shit.

You see, that’s the problem.

Some sense of false kindness prevents us from speaking our hearts, causing us to be deceptive rather than forthcoming.

It doesn’t change the fact of what we feel. Choosing a gentle answer does not make us more gentle. It actually causes us to create a second storehouse, where we stockpile resentment instead of building up our barns of blessing.

It is impossible for me to live a blessed life if I’m pissed off–and the longer I stay pissed off, the less chance I have of ever satisfying the breach I’ve created in my own emotions and soul.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the driving habits of the American traveler. People who would normally appear rational lose all sense of dignity when they get behind the wheel of an automobile, because they feel they’re protected by armor, like a knight on a crusade to kill dragons. They become profane, horn-honkers and selfish intruders into the lives of other human movers.

Why? Because the anger that should have been dealt with days ago is now stinking up the joint.

There is one mission in discovering the value of human life: don’t be afraid to say what you feel … as long as you’re prepared to be wrong.

And since most people are not suited for such an admission of guilt, they would rather keep their feelings to themselves and maintain them in a chest of self-righteousness.

  • Rage is what kills.
  • Anger is what opens the door to communication.

If we allow ourselves to be transparent in our emotions, we will avoid the danger of rage.

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Apologetics

dictionary with letter A

Apologetics (n.): reasoned arguments defending a theory or belief.

Living in a world that wants to debate the power of argument and argue over the rules of debate, I find myself retreating in self-defense.

It isn’t that I’m afraid to make a stand, nor that I lack evidence of a personal nature on what I hold dear. It’s just that when I am limited to the power of mere articulation, I lose the majority of the beauty of my human emotion and faith.

We are not better people when we are convincing. For after all, Adolph Hitler was able to make a case for his Super Race.

What makes us viable and appealing is the stream of evidence which oozes from our pores as the proof of what lies within.

So a politician who is jaded and angry off-camera fails to convince me of his or her sincerity.

A corporation which revels in its slick advertising, capturing a market, is not nearly as appealing to me as one which takes responsibility for inferior products and sets in motion the research to improve.

And the religionist who mocks the simplicity of a child-like faith in favor of a theology with so many twists and turns that it produces a pretzel logic is not the mind of God to my weary ears.

Here’s what I want to know:

  • Can you tell me the truth?
  • Is it working for you?
  • What can you share with me that confirms that assertion?

Many centuries ago, a blind man who was healed by an itinerant preacher was mocked by the intellectuals of his day because the so-called miracle didn’t make any sense nor follow any acceptable form of religious practice.

His response was precious.

He said, “I don’t know about all your opinions and learned ways. All I know is that once I was blind, but now I see.”

Amen.

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Apologetic

dictionary with letter A

Apologetic (adj.) admitting and showing regret for a wrongdoing.

In my opinion, saying “I’m sorry” is only effective when it comes from the lips of an explorer instead of a captured criminal.

We live in a time when people do and say ridiculous things, and then are compelled by our media to stand in front of a microphone and mouth some sort of anemic confession of weakness, waiting for the news cycle to lose interest in them.

If they don’t do this, we assume they’re perniciously evil and should be shunned from the next barn-raising.

Yet an apology is probably the most powerful tool in human relationships. It is the glue that holds pieces together which are mismatched, but still strong because of the bond.

Still, an apology, like any other misused virtue, becomes nearly sinister when it is coerced and turned from the beauty of repentance to the aggravating death-march to compliance.

It reminds me of the parents who stand around and require their child to say “thank you” when you give the little one a candy bar. You become the victim of their insistence as the child, with chocolate dripping down his cheek, reluctantly mutters what is assumed to be words of gratitude.

How can we teach ourselves that an apology does not diminish, but rather, accentuates, our status?

I don’t know.

But there is a wise adage which states, “Except you repent, you will perish.”

To the human mind that seems unlikely. So what does perish?

What we lose in this transaction, because we have not used our own cognition to apologize, is the peace of mind and trust we have in others to be sincere–which can cause us to become angry, unforgiving souls … if we don’t believe them.

 

 

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Apolitical

dictionary with letter A

Apolitical (adj.): not interested or involved in politics.

I made the mistake of claiming to be apolitical in the midst of a group of people who were energized by the conflict we call the American election process.

They looked on me with disdain. The kinder ones began to reason with me, saying that I had no right to comment on the world around me if I was not going to participate in the quagmire.

It’s not that I have anything against the American system, nor that I wish to pursue some other foreign derivation. It’s just that I decided years ago that once something does not work, the most merciful thing you can do is abandon it and give it a decent burial.

For instance, I once had a lovely clock radio. At the time it was the pride of my possessions. It was easy to read, easy to set and had a powerful speaker which enabled the AM/FM radio to ring out with almost stereo clarity.

One day it stopped working. Completely. I considered getting it fixed, but was informed that it would cost more than the instrument was worth.

Being a stubborn sort, I kept it plugged in the wall with the hopes of resurrection. Even after the third day passed, I still persisted in dreaming of its return.

It didn’t.

One day a friend came into my home, saw the clock radio and asked my why it was still plugged into the wall, considering that it was doing nothing. I explained my allegiance, preference, hopes and dreams.

He squinted at me in disbelief and commented, “Go buy yourself a damn radio that works.”

His words pierced my soul.

I don’t know whether it was the sternness or the logic that awakened a spirit of reality, but I did it.

It was so refreshing to have a working clock radio that I soon forgot my old friend.

  • I am intent on changing my world.
  • I just know that politics … is broken.

 

 

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Apogee

dictionary with letter A

Apogee (n.) 1. The point in the orbit of the moon or a satellite at which it is furthest from the earth. 2. The highest point: (e.g.: his creative activity reached its apogee in 1910.)

We live our lives looking through binoculars, unaware that history will view us under a microscope.

We keep hoping that something will come along and stimulate our sensibilities and promote our ideas to greater influence and gain. The flaw of all humanity is the notion that we deserve a break, so we will sit here and wait for it.

Yet history will peer back on our deeds and reflect on where we messed up our GPS, missed a U-turn or put the brakes on.

So therefore, we can all become guilty of claiming our apogee long before we have actually achieved our highest point.

Life is a mysterious collision of confidence and insecurity.

Confidence says, “Given the opportunity, I can do this.” But it must be accompanied by a mistrust that such an advantage will come our way without us hustling for it.

When I study greatness, I find two components. People who achieve their goals do the following:

  1. Work on their gifts until they are prepared for the moment.
  2. Create the moment.

I am not a believer in destiny. I am certain that the acquisition of my dreams will be executed by the energy of my effort.

What will be my apogee? I am not there yet.

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Apocalypse

dictionary with letter A

Apocalypse (n.)1. an event involving great destruction. 2. (The Apocalypse) the final destruction of the world, as described in the biblical book of Revelation.

It didn’t take me long in my travels to discover that there are only two things that motivate human beings: fear and love. And the truth is, if you have one, you don’t have the other.

Those who fear are greatly inhibited from loving.

And those who love have comfort, which protects them from fear.

Let me share my own little bubble of naiveté: if the world is actually going to end, don’t tell me. Matter of fact. don’t talk about it.

You can feel free to suggest ways that I can prevent such a cataclysmic occurence. That will be fine. But when you start talking about times, dates, circumstances or blame, please leave me out.

Because I will tell you, in my lifetime I have seen the threat of such annihilation twice:

During my whole growing up years, people were building bomb shelters, preparing for the inevitable tossing back and forth of nuclear weapons.

And then the Cuban Missile Crisis took us to the brink of a global fiasco, flirting with devastation like cheap whores at a bar near closing time.

I didn’t care for it–and not just because we were so close to oblivion. It was also the tension leading up to it and the apprehension that remained following.

I run across many religious people who pray for such an Armageddon so they can go home and be with Jesus. Isn’t it interesting that the Savior who prayed to stay here with us is now plagued with disciples who pray to go?

How bizarre.

  • I don’t want the world to end on my watch.
  • I don’t want to stand before God and have to explain why the whole damn thing blew up while I was idly figuring out the day and the hour.

I plan on going to my demise kicking and screaming, needing to be convinced by any divine being who has prepared a place, that this heavenly offering is actually better than what I had.

 

 

 

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