Charismatic

Charismatic: (adj) relating to the charismatic movement in the Christian Church.

Even in the midst of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenburg Church, symbolizing the beginning of the Reformation Movement and the Protestant rendition of the faith, my mind prefers to go back less than fifty years–when
those boundaries existing between Catholics and Protestants were melted away by a simple sweet spirit.

I had just begun traveling the country–a young man full of dreams and plagued by empty pockets–when suddenly the walls that had once stood strong between the denominations of the followers of Jesus began to tumble by a movement of the Holy Spirit.

Matter of fact, many of my first opportunities to sing and share ended up being in front of Catholic Charismatic meetings, where those who honored a Pope and offered wine and cheese for snacks, suddenly joined hands in prayer with their Protestant counterparts.

It was beautiful. It was childlike. It was awe-inspiriring and sometimes a bit clumsy.

One night at a McDonald’s, one of my Catholic brothers, in an attempt to validate his newfound freedom and faith, proclaimed to the entire table of hamburger-munchers that “Jesus wiped with the same hand we do.” Everybody graciously said a quiet “amen,” our Big Macs suddenly shrinking in appeal.

What were the ingredients that made this movement so successful?

  1. They didn’t take too much time discussing theology.
  2. Everyone became known as a “Charismatic” instead of identifying by their denominational nametag.
  3. Love and hugging were just as important as Bible study and prayer.
  4. The music was like children’s hymns, sung with tears.
  5. It unified.

The Charismatic Movement didn’t last very long. False teachers, televangelists and those who wanted to make a dime off of a penny’s worth of thoughts soon came in and ravaged the faithful.

But it truly was charismatic.

Charismatic in the sense of being totally charming.

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Brother

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Brother: (n) a man or boy in relation to other sons and daughters of his parents.

I had four brothers who shared a common uterus with me. Not at the same time; we had different leasing arrangements.Dictionary B

I will tell you that those four individuals have importance in my life because we lived in a common household. But they are not closer to me than other folks who have stumbled across my path.

I believe we could have been great kinfolk–more intimate. But it is really the mother and father who decide how tight the bond will be among the children.

For instance, it is possible to accidentally pit your offspring against each other. Too much competition in a house creates enemies instead of fellow-laborers. And of course, favoritism makes one child work too hard and another one skate on thin ice.

Two of my brothers have already passed on. The oldest one never totally understood me and we never came to peace with each other. The second ghost and I had a violent relationship, which simmered into a warm broth, which we were able to enjoy.

And my other two brothers–well, we bounce between contact and alienation.

Now, it was my joy to be the father of three sons and three other young men that I “godfathered” to adulthood.

I must have done something right, because they don’t hate each other. Or maybe they just decided to ignore my attempts to generate boundaries and chasms, and worked on finding common ground.

I don’t know which one it is–but I will give you the definition for brother:

It is not someone of your own household who shares a mom with you.

It is not a male Christian counterpart who communes with you at an altar.

A brother is, and always will be, someone who refuses to believe the gossip he hears about you, but instead, comes to you directly…to get the real story.

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Bath

Bath: (n) a process of immersing and washing one’s body in a large container of water.Dictionary B

I grew up in a small, two-bedroom house–one restroom and seven people. It is similar to having three people walk into a phone booth and make a call by committee.

It was many years before I discovered the importance of boundaries. For in my home, growing up, simply possessing the territory of the bathroom did not guarantee you privacy. I would occasionally be sitting on the pot and have one of my older brothers burst through the door, apply Brylcreem to his hair and comb away while I decided whether to continue my stinky endeavor.

Most humiliating was the fact that until I was about thirteen years old, my mother often came in during my bathtime to make sure I was being thorough. Being a kid, I never questioned this practice since I had no point of reference and certainly would not compare notes in the locker room with my friends.

She used these occasions to get chatty, sitting on the nearby toilet. She would discuss her day and even suggest various ways that I might choose to clean my private parts, which, for the time being, had become public domain.

I was uncomfortable with this, but keep in mind–she was my mother. It gave her almost martial law over my space.

Looking back, I realize that this was a bit bizarre.

Matter of fact, early on in my planning for a family, I recommended knocking before entering … and always celebrated the glorious wisdom of locks on doors.

 

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Alien

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alien: (adj.) belonging to a foreign country or nation

People are funny. (But it is a good idea not to laugh at them to their face.)

What I mean is, the boundaries we establish for personal contact and acceptability within the human race are not only bizarre, but always prove to be irrelevant.

Even though people from Africa didn’t decide to emigrate to the United States, but instead were brought over on a “Kidnap Carnival Cruise,” complete with chains and beatings, we still decided to insult them while they picked our cotton by continuing the mistreatment and relegating them to less-than-human status.

We did the same thing with the Chinese when we were building the railroad. We welcomed them to the country so they could lay our tracks, work cheap and receive a good old-fashioned American dose of abuse.

Matter of fact, every nationality which has come to this land has gone through a season of being rejected as tourists, beaten up as neighbors and eventually absorbed due to the passage of time and proving their usefulness to our general welfare.

I think what some Americans would like is to have the Mexicans come in, clean the houses, work the menial jobs, pick the fruit and lettuce–and then somehow or another, be transported back to their homes in Mexico nightly, so as not to interfere with our present “preferred mix.”

Yes, if the Southern plantation owners could have had the black folks pick cotton by day, and then jam them into a space ship to go back to the Dark Continent to sleep at night–only to return at dawn to work, we would have called that the Great American Ideal.

But doggone it, those foreigners who come here and work for us for pennies on the dollar start desiring things like citizenship, consideration and worst of all, equality.

I learned a long time ago in that what betrays me more than anything else are my needs that vary from my wants.

  • America needs cheap labor and souls who have been raised in a culture with a great work ethic.
  • The fact that we don’t want them to live next door to us creates the conflict.

So I guess the only choice is to either lessen our need or change our wants.

Yes … that will truly be an alien concept to us all.