Cordial: (adj) courteous and gracious; friendly; warm:

“It doesn’t work! Not nowadays!”

That’s the statement flung in my direction whenever I suggest that kindness, gentleness and being cordial is a viable option to bitterness, strife and animosity.

It seems the entire human race is frightened by the prospect that being merciful is setting them up, like a golf ball on a tee, to be driven far, far away by a funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
smack with a club.

Yet no one sits down and asks the simple question, “What happens when people are no longer intimidated by your bad attitude?”

You may frighten people off by being suspicious, nasty and unfriendly, but eventually, someone will be terror-free, and others will learn to shed their fear of you. Then they will come with torches and pitchforks, to kill the Frankenstein who was so rude to them.

That would be you.

There’s one thing for certain—no one has to go to bed nervous, asking him or herself, “Is my cordial attitude going to backfire on me?”

There’s a peace that follows being peaceful.

There’s a blessedness attached to being a peace-maker.

It is so precious that people will begin to believe that you’re a child of God.

The bravest thing you can ever do in your life is to refuse to fight, argue, attack and brutalize another human being. The risk is that they will still turn on you and destroy you while you stand there, helpless.

But there is the possibility that your unwillingness to draw blood in conflict with them will at least give them pause.

If you refuse to join the battle, any further attack makes them murderers if they kill you, not warriors.

Cordial people survive to have great-grandchildren and write the history books about those they out-loved.

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News



Bossy: (adj) fond of giving people orders; domineering.

Is “bossy” somebody telling me what to do, or is “bossy” somebody telling me what to do, displaying a bad attitude?Dictionary B

When I was growing up, it was assumed that some people would be bossy. They were given the authority to do so; it was expected of them.

It never occurred to us that our teachers would try to find a nice way of instructing us. No one would have dared go to the principal’s office and complain about a teacher having a nasty disposition.

So it seems that a luxury has slipped into the emotional bank account of the average American: “Since I don’t want to do anything other than what I’ve conjured in my own brain, I will consider anyone who tries to tell me what to do bossy and mean–even if they have the right.”

So basically, progress has slowed, as we run every suggestion through a filter of, “How did this make me feel?”

Sometimes orders and commands are so important that they can’t be homogenized.

In other words, some people aren’t bossy–they’re just in charge. I may not like their tone, but I need to submit to their wisdom.


Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon




Basic: (adj) forming an essential foundation or starting point; fundamental.Dictionary B

Occasionally I make the brave journey onto the Web to look at what people are saying, thinking and doing.

I discovered an interesting trend.

We have become a nation which is obsessed with complicating and bitching. Sometimes we blend the two.

We bitch about how complicated things are, or we go into complicated explanations about the source of our bad attitude and bitching.

I saw a blog advertising an article entitled, “28 Ways to Make Your Life Better.”


If someone gave you a recipe and told you there were 28 ingredients, would you prepare it?

Thus the popularity of hot dogs: put dogs in sauce pan with water, turn on heat, boil on high for three minutes, take off the stove, bon appetit!

Perhaps we’re just afraid of going back to the basics.

  • Do people think it makes them look shallow or stupid?
  • Do we fear we will be perceived as old-fashioned?

But since I fear that complexity will make me look like a simpleton, and simplicity has the potential of graduating me to genius, let me tell you the three basics of life that will get you through almost every situation. (I must apologize–there are not 28.)

But here we go:

  1. Try to be nice to people. And if you can’t, leave the room.
  2. Don’t lead with bragging. Humbly lead with your talent, taking a lower seat so that people can call you up to a higher place.
  3. Don’t buy, eat or pursue anything just because it’s popular. Stand back for a moment, wait, and see if it explodes, gives indigestion or suddenly plummets in following.


It’s not called “basic” because it’s less–it’s called “basic” because it’s been around for a long time, and has proven its quality to be more.


Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Don’t let another Christmas go by without purchasing Jonathan’s bestselling Christmas book!

Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.


“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.






dictionary with letter A

Any: (adj & pron) word used to refer to one or some of a thing or number of things, no matter how much or many (e.g.: I don’t have any choice)

One of the greatest fights that can be taken on if you want to be considered intelligent or have foresight is to keep the words of your mouth trending toward the bright side of life instead of the dark.

For once you have developed a bad attitude, you begin to take words that were meant to be positive and twist them to more bleak interpretations.

I find that to be true with the word “any.”

  • I don’t have any options.
  • Is there anybody out there who loves me?
  • There doesn’t seem to be any possibility of making my budget.

Poor “any.”

It had such great aspirations when it was growing up–when it was a little “a,” waiting to go through puberty and get its “n-y.”

It dreamed of blessing people:

  • Is there anything I can do?
  • Is there any way I can help?
  • Is there any chance that life could get better, considering how wonderful it is?

But people came along and took the little fella down to the Bowery and turned him into a junkie for evil.

Of course, I am jesting. But I am often reminded of the great quotation, “By our words we are justified and by our words we are condemned.”

And since it’s out of the abundance of our hearts that our mouths speak, we should give our words a break and take some time ministering to our own emotions before we go blabbing away.

  • Is there any way that I can become a more enlightened person?


By taking my thoughts, adding some good cheer and cleaning them up … before I allow spillage from my lips.


Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix


Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAdmonish: (v) to warn or reprimand someone firmly

I really do not know why this word is in the dictionary.

I suppose it’s there because we all have accidentally or ignorantly decided to admonish another human being, only to discover that we were given bad attitude, resistance and actually, more often than not, pushed them right back into their iniquity.

For after all, it is a word usually associated with child-rearing. You know–those occasions when we sit our offspring down and explain to them in vivid detail the error of their ways and the danger of their path.

But writing this essay today, I have to ask myself if I have EVER heeded an admonishment.

I have come to myself and decided to change certain behavior. But every time someone ELSE has made it his or her mission to create that change in me, I have resisted to the point of rebellion (although in the presence of other folks I might pretend I had heeded the heated advice).

But I didn’t.

Truthfully, I resented the hell out of someone treating me like I was a teenager taking the car out for a joy ride without permission.

This is why I yearned for my eighteenth birthday–so I wouldn’t have to listen to people tell me what to do. I am a typical son of Adam and Eve in the sense that if you tell me there’s a tree from which I should not eat, it is the location where I will probably decide to have lunch.

Honestly, it’s how I can tell that parts of the Bible ARE divinely inspired, and other portions are the inventions of men trapped in their own culture and time, who did their best to venture a good guess.

You can encourage people. I am not so certain you can admonish them.

You can exhort people. Admonishment will go out the back door as quickly as it came in the front.

You can steer, cheer, jeer, and leer at folks and probably get by with it. But when you sit them down and try to recreate the atmosphere that should have happened when they were children being instructed on Mommy and Daddy’s knees, you are about to unleash all the fury of their frustration.

So what can we do if we know that someone is destroying himself and is steeped in great error?

The two paths available to the wise man or woman who want to affect their world are:

  1. Set a great visible example
  2. Pray that God uses the natural order to bring truth to the forefront.

There you go.

So “admonish” is in the dictionary because we do it with our children–to limited success.

When we try to apply it to our adult friends, we have generated the definition for another word: futility.