Bye

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Bye: (n) the transfer of a competitor directly to the next round of a competition in the absence of an assigned opponent

I’m going to take a bye on some things:

  • False praise
  • Political arrogance
  • Religious inflexibility
  • Self-pity
  • Pseudo-intellectualism
  • Pop atheism
  • Self-satisfaction
  • Culture pursuit
  • Racial pride
  • Nationalism
  • Stinginess
  • Gender bashing
  • Nosiness
  • Conservative
  • Liberal
  • Fantasy
  • Destiny
  • Self-gratification
  • Critique
  • Meditation
  • Maturity
  • Selfishness
  • Selfies
  • Self-righteousness
  • Self-almost-anything

I’m taking a bye.

Good-bye.

 

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Bedevil

Bedevil: (v) to cause great and continual troubleDictionary B

Word has it that you are not allowed to pick and choose.

That’s too bad.

Because I will tell you, I would certainly love to have entertainment without sensationalism.

How about voting without politics?

I definitely would enjoy faith without religion.

Food without calories.

Marriage without gender bias.

And conversations without one-upmanship.

This especially becomes troubling to me when I consider that which bedevils us the most…that being the devil himself.

I am told that you cannot believe in God without acknowledging a counterpart–a Dark Lord named Satan.

Sometimes it almost makes atheism look appealing–not so much that I want to get rid of God, but just to eliminate the instinct to be preoccupied with his nemesis, Beelzebub.

To me, Satan has become the “Great Hall Closet,” where everything we don’t want to deal with gets thrown, hoping that by springtime our inclinations will improve.

Unfortunately for God, He receives surface praise for goodness and full responsibility for tornadoes.

Satan, on the other hand, seems to have greater power by manipulating evil empires and causing your boss to fire you, even though it might have just been a by-product of your lazy efforts.

I guess the worst thing of all is the darkness that bedevils us with fear and keeps us from our better angels.

So I don’t have an answer to this quandary, but instead, an abiding apathy.

In other words, I am one of those ridiculous realists who chooses to commune with God while ignoring the troublesome neighbor … with the pitchfork and horns.

 

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Babylonian

Babylonian: (adj) of or relating to Babylon or Babylonia.

Babylon scared the foreskin off the Jews.Dictionary B

So in the Jewish culture, Babylon became the symbol for everything wicked, perverse and untoward.

They feared Babylon.

This created not only great aggravation, but also promoted extreme bigotry and an overly zealous sense of nationalism.

Here is a quick thought: it is ridiculous to attach demon or angel to humans.

That’s right–we are people.

We are not sinister enough to be belched from hell, nor are we spiritual enough to sprout a set of gossamer wings.

Yet we still persist in this kind of personification today.

So people who believe in God look on the atheist as being inherently evil. They are Babylon.

And those who choose to live free from a god figure contend the faithful are Neanderthal-Holy-Book-thumpers.

We feel justified in doing this. Matter of fact, to protect our philosophy, we feel it is essential to turn the opposition into some sort of backwards Babylonia.

But, as time has proven, people, being people, end up with people conclusions.

  • So stupidity always lends itself to stupid results.
  • Unselfishness opens the door to unselfish manifestations.
  • And robbing people of freedom always ends up with a rebellion to regain independence.

Babylonia was a country. It fancied itself to be an empire. But its rule was short, to match its vision. And those who considered it to be insurmountable–the quintessential evil–were proven to be overwrought.

 

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Attune

Attune: (v) to bring into accord, harmony, or sympathetic relationshipdictionary with letter A

Caught between the onslaught of profane extremism and the threat of eternal damnation, the human race is squeezed by greedy zealots out for the common dollar instead of the common good.

So rather than finding these culprits of foolishness and exposing them as the fanatics they are, we instead surmise that the human race is a doomed and failed species, incapable of self-containment, let alone shepherding the earth.

It’s time to attune with one another.

May I begin?

  1. Most of the time, we’re not evil, we’re just bored. Having no vision, we perish in our frailty.
  2. We are creative but taught to table such ingenious revelations in favor of the remake, which guarantees sales.
  3. We are not sexual deviants, but rather, sensual beings who mysteriously have the unique ability of mingling a committed, divine love with a ferocious, exciting orgasm.
  4. We are not spiritual, but we are emotional. This enables us to touch spiritual matters and enjoy them without thinking we’ve figured out the universe.
  5. We’re not lazy–just unmotivated. We are not uncaring–unfortunately, disconnected.
  6. We know that men and women are supposed to be equals, but we resist the premise, fearing that an even playing field would rob us of our uniqueness.
  7. We are neither afraid to believe in God nor frightened to discover He does not exist. But we do require a reason for our lives which allows us to escape the jaded notion that “it’s all meaningless.”

These are 7 that popped into my mind. There are probably many more, but I wouldn’t want to bore you with too many details…and accidentally drive you into sinful behavior.

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Atheism

Atheism: (n) disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.dictionary with letter A

God damn atheism.

A rather ineffective threat, don’t you think?

Seriously, I’ve always been perplexed with the whole idea of atheism. Obviously, anyone who adheres to this frame of mind is also fully aware that the earth is an intricately formed entity because we need extensive scientific research to comprehend it.

The whole thing reminds me of packing for a long trip. There are two schools of thought:

Some people don’t pack snacks or drinks, but rather, choose to purchase these items at convenience stores. But sometimes these convenience stores aren’t–convenient, that is.

So at that point, it’s nice to have some snacks to munch on in the car.

Likewise, some folks think it’s completely unnecessary to check the car over before the trip as long as it’s running fine.

Of course, a trip to the local grocery store doesn’t reveal some creaks and whistles that might be discovered if you extend that journey by several hundred miles.

Some individuals make reservations at hotels in order to be prepared to check in upon arrival.

Other people like to do it on the fly when they get to a community and see what lodging possibilities are available.

Is there a power in being prepared? Because I know a lot of religious people who are not prepared to die and find out that the whole “God thing” was just an elaborate, beautiful fiction.

And I certainly also know atheists who would be equally as shocked to discover there is an afterlife and a Creator awaiting their arrival.

So the choice has always been easy for me.

I am one of those people who likes to prepare a little bit.

So I am fully prepared for a time on this planet that ends with my own death and nothing to follow.

How do I do that? By making sure I don’t do anything religious that takes the joy out of my living.

But I’m also fully prepared to talk to the Guy in heaven if it ends up that the DNA test came back and He actually is my Father.

How do I do that? By treating all of His creation–especially humans–with the respect and dignity that He requires.

To me atheism is as risky as making a prediction that Jesus is coming back by next September.

Since you really can’t be sure, it might just be a good idea to prepare for all alternatives.

 

 

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Apportion

dictionary with letter A

Ap·portion: (v): to divide and allocate

I have a son who is always critical of me because he feels that I do not collaborate enough with others.

Since he wasn’t here for the majority of my life and I am not going to bore him with details, I choose to allow him to pursue whatever thought process he desires.

But I will tell you about my collaborations.

If everybody in the world would understand that we put a piece in the puzzle and at the end, we celebrate the puzzle instead of continually pointing out our piece within, it would be absolutely magnificent to be involved in a group project with a common result. Matter of fact, I have often collaborated with individuals, to allow my apportion to be absorbed and dissolved into the general good, knowing deep in my heart I was part of something grand and glorious.

Perhaps that’s the best way to describe the mission I have chosen for my life.

I am disgusted with religion, find atheism to be hilarious and am truly apolitical. Yet at the same time, I have some talents, abilities and energy that I can contribute to the cause.

The spotlight has often failed to find me in the crowd, and I have only had the satisfaction of involvement as my warmth and comfort.

  • But I have seen change.
  • I have been part of the change.
  • And I have great confidence in knowing that my apportion to the general welfare was offered freely, willingly and joyously.

I would really love to collaborate more with others if, when the project was done, the individuals would not point out how their part in the endeavor “was the most essential to the quality.”

Yes, to find an apportion, one must first discover the dangers of ego gone rogue, and insecurity unchecked.

 

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Ape

dictionary with letter A

Ape (n.) 1. an animal like a monkey but without a tail, such as a chimpanzee or gorilla. (v) 2. to imitate.

It’s confusing to me.

People who advocate for Darwinian evolution also are the greatest proponents for higher education. Yet they certainly are not trying to get the chimpanzee to evolve to Harvard.

On the other hand, those who insist that God created man from the dust of the earth, and that we have no missing link to the ape, often discourage scientific discovery and brain teasing.

How bizarre.

I guess I’m one of those weird people who find evolution completely possible until you reach the point of leaping from the chimpanzee to the human being, so I contend there was a God who created the process, but yearns for the Homo sapiens wing of creation to pursue science, nature and knowledge to the utmost.

Call me obtuse and surely you must.

It appears to me that people use evolution to promote their atheism and creationism to attack the infidel.

No one actually sits down and thinks about how this all might have come to be, but instead, looks for a position to perch from which to throw stones.

I love nature. I just believe it was created. And I am sure that there was evolution involved, and even find that the Good Book strongly suggests that the “survival of the fittest” is not only practical, but spiritual.

I have no confidence whatsoever that a gorilla or an ape of any sort would find kinship with me simply because neither of us sport a tail.

 

 

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Acedia

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acedia: (n.) a spiritual or mental sloth; apathy.

The problem with religion is that it often deadens people’s instincts to be expansive and will to excel.

The difficulty with atheism is that it launches a soul on a sea, fostering such loneliness that the end result is despair.

Yet a life without spirit is asking the emotions and the brain to peacefully co-exist in three square feet of skin, never meant to contain such revolution.

The human spirit is meant to be aflame with passion, so as to referee the continuing struggle between that which we feel, that which we think and ultimately, that which we do.

Anything that comes along to create apathy, despondency and hopelessness is an enemy of those who are adorned with such great intelligence by the Creator that it affords them the authority to walk as supreme on earth.

So how can we have enough God without becoming religious and enough questioning without being plagued by our own nagging agnosticism?

It is perhaps the greatest question that faces all humankind–and even though it may occasionally cause us to run away in horror, we must realize that the payoff for finding such a treasure of balanced expression is worth every single moment of turmoil.

Don’t give up on God, who never gave up on you–and in the process you’ll never give up on people.

Fight the tendency to go numb. Endure a little pain to welcome the pleasure … of a soaring salvation.

 

Abstract

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abstract: (adj.) existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete reality.

Isn’t that religion?

I mean, I’m not trying to be provocative, but I believe that would actually be the definition of a religious experience–something that exists in thought or in belief, with no actual physical manifestation readily available.

People would object to that characterization. They would say that their particular brand of spirituality was ripe with fruitfulness and examples of prosperity. But there are those who would contradict them by saying that the cases they cite could easily be explained by pointing out the individual’s  talent, perseverance or by what some would view as “dumb luck.”

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

In other words, faith is abstract.

And even though “abstract” is considered to be an insult, especially when we sling it at someone else to explain their reasoning powers or value to us, the removal of the abstract is an attempt to live on a diet of mere practicality–things that can be handled, observed or studied. Believe you me, that kind of intake is very similar to attempting to convince yourself that the Caesar salad you had for lunch is great–and JUST as tasty as partaking of the pizza buffet.

Yes, spirituality is the pizza buffet. It is the intake of emotional and eternal calories which plump up our spirits with joy and hope.

That’s why I make a distinction between spirituality and religion. Religion points out how I’m different from the person kneeling next to me. Spirituality reminds me that I’m part of a much larger earth family.

So in a discussion with anyone about the integrity of atheism or agnosticism over believing in an eternal spirit and Creator of us all, those who share a Father in heaven rather than a mere common ooze will always lose out and be accused of being ignorant and believers in fairy tales.

But amazingly enough, when a bomb blows up in Boston or a fertilizer plant explodes in Texas, nobody ever runs to the library to gain greater knowledge. We turn, instead, to the abstract. We bow down and supplicate. We hope, deep inside ourselves, that life has a greater meaning than the mere passage of hours, days, months and years.

I guess some people would insist that in our hour of need, we become more ignorant. I think we just become more thirsty for the power and the comfort … of the abstract.