Cousin

Cousin: (n) a child of one’s uncle or aunt.

Family setups and things like lineage always confuse the hell out of me.

After mother, father, sister and brother, it all gets a little blurry.

It begins with aunts and uncles. And then, when we start talking about “aunt on your mother’s side” or “uncle on your father’s side,” honest to God, I need to take out paper and pencil and draw a map.

Or should it be a graph? Because then, the children of those aunts and uncles become my cousins.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So in a weird way, I am kind of related to them, which makes it very strange that when I was a child, over summer vacation, we often played doctor.

That means I was touching family members—experimenting and discovering my sexuality—with people who would be my brothers and sisters if they weren’t separated by one other person.

I’m not even going to talk about second cousins. I honestly don’t even know what that is. I never admit I don’t know, because there is always someone ready to explain it, and then I must pretend to comprehend so as to get him or her to shut up.

I must stop and think about these family arrangements because they don’t come naturally to me.

Maybe they’re not supposed to.

Perhaps the hippie philosophy is the best one for us as human beings. You know—where we’re all brothers and sisters.

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Correlate

Correlate: (v) when two things affect or depend upon another

Déjà vu—that odd, often creepy sensation—that what we’re presently experiencing we have already encountered.

I have actually heard many explanations for this phenomenon, so let me tell you what I think one of the instigators may be for a déjà vu moment:

Every piece of the heart and soul inside us, loving us, tries to subliminally warn us that the place we’re in, the steps we are taking and the mood we’ve selected has been pursued before, and did not bring about much fruitfulness.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I believe one of the great gifts imparted to me as a human being is the instinct of knowing I’ve done this stupid thing before in some way, shape or form, and now would be a good time to bail out.

The present political situation seems very familiar to me. It doesn’t feel odd. Matter of fact, this is the third occasion in my lifetime when I’ve seen the United States temporarily go insane because half of the country was supporting someone the other half believed to be crooked.

Let me give you a correlation:

It would be similar to living in a house with a father and mother who campaigned to divide the affection of the children, causing brothers and sisters to be at war because they side with one parent over the other.

This is what we’re being asked to do today.

We were also asked to do this in the late 1990’s, with President Bill Clinton, and of course, in the early 1970’s, with President Richard Nixon.

If any of you out there lived through these experiences, you should allow your brain to give you a beautiful déjà vu, and begin to correlate, in your thinking, the similarities and traps—and thereby avoid being sucked into a war of insults and lies, and instead find your identity, maintain it, and laugh at the ridiculous fiasco.

Here are things that correlate: telling the truth, honesty, repentance and change

On the other hand: lying, cheating, denial and destruction.

Truth will always end up on top. It’s not because God is controlling the Universe and killing off all the liars. Rather, it’s because people like you and me begin to correlate and come to agreement. As painful as the truth may seem, it does free us from the need to defend dangerous lies.

Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace.

Bill Clinton is still regarded as a flirtatious womanizer.

Whoever continues to lie in our present circumstances in America will join these two in obscurity.


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Brethren

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Brethren: (n) archaic plural form of brother.

“I’m doin’ it so my family can have a better life,” he said, being interviewed on one of the singing competitions so prevalent over the airwaves.Dictionary B

I was supposed to be moved by his sentiment. I guess the goal was to get me in his corner by realizing what a fine damn fellow he was for loving his wife and children.

But is that really special?

How basic is it for us to just express affection to those we marry or procreate?

Isn’t the music more important?

Isn’t communicating with others through melody and harmony the greatest aspiration?

I just think I would be very disappointed if Beethoven wrote his symphonies for “a gal and his young’uns.”

Somewhere along the line, we need people to step out of the box of family life, and begin to refer to those around them, who do not share DNA, as “brethren.”

You are my brothers and sisters.

The fact that you look different and come from unique regions only makes you more intriguing.

When we settle for our clan, our cloister and our clump, we are admitting that we have second thoughts about loving the stranger.

Since most of us are strangers to the rest of the world … we might want to reconsider our position.

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Box Office

Box office: (n) a place at a theater or other arts establishment where tickets are bought or reserved.

In the midst of my human journey, which I’m sure some people would consider a cavalcade of bizarre experiments and perpetual oddities, I, for a season, wrote screenplays, which were produced into low-budget, independent films, and showcased at festivals.Dictionary B

On top of that, we had a premiere of each film, which could be viewed by all of the participants, actors and family members, so they could “ooh and aah” over their participation (and also confirm that the camera really does put ten pounds on you).

I was in Michigan and they were shooting my script entitled “Wonderful,” which was a tipping of the hat to the Capra film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” when it was determined that we would rent a big metroplex theater for our premiere.

It was a bold move.

The place seated about 300 people, and we had no reason to believe that such a multitude would be willing to come and see our little endeavor.

I vividly recall sitting in the parking lot, staring at the road leading to the theater and watching as the cars–one by one, then three by three, and finally ten by ten–began arriving for our debut.

It was thrilling.

By the time everybody gathered, the place was full, the movie was screened, the energy was supreme and the human interaction of joy and fellowship that followed was the definition of what our lives should truly be.

I will never forget that box-office moment, when the people poured out of the theater, some in tears, some laughing, some grumpy (maintaining their nature) but all aware that they had broken down their barriers, and allowed themselves, for a brief moment, to truly be brothers and sisters.

 

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Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

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“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

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Bloodline

Bloodline: (n) ancestors or pedigree

Dictionary B

“Blood is thicker than water.”

This is one of those annoying sayings that continues to pop up and fails to be refuted because no one wants to come across anti-family.

God forbid we would challenge the Victorian concept of our particular DNA sprouts carrying more holiness than other human beings on Earth.

Even though many tout themselves to be Christians and worship a fellow named Jesus, who said that when “we only love those of our own household, we’re no better than the heathen,” we still place great significance out of which womb we made our exit.

I suppose enjoying your brothers and sisters can be very exciting–but if that is the case, why isn’t it even more exciting to have additional brothers and sisters?

Life is not a reenactment of “Games of Thrones,” where an heir must be conceived through the pure bloodline of a king, assumed to be superior to the serfs.

Rather, it’s learning to appreciate each and every human as beautiful, and finding reasons to get along with him or her.

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Armageddon

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Armageddon: (n) in the New Testament, the last battle between good and evil before the Day of Judgment.

I have this memory from Sunday School class of a verse in which God shares with Cain that the blood of his brother “cried unto God from the Earth.”

Pretty powerful image.

So every time I think about Armageddon, I’m a bit baffled.

I have never had a desire to go to the Holy Land–mainly because I do not believe that any particular parcel of dust and stone is holy–and especially when the landscape has been so stained by human blood, shed for meaningless doctrines and interpretations.

I am not certain that this position I have taken would be a popular one with those who want to go and see where Moses received the Ten Commandments, or where Jesus walked on the water.

But if I found myself in the unenviable position of being the President of the United States, I would never send any troops into a kingdom that is already crimson with blood.

I would never allow myself to be known as the conduit that initiated a battle over nothing, which destroys everything.

There isn’t much I can do about the Jews and the Muslims wanting to fight with each other. It is my belief that Jesus came to break truth off of tradition, so that we could be human beings with each other instead of tribes.

But I guess as long as we insist on honoring our cultures more than humanity, protecting our kin more than seeking reasons to call the people of the world our brothers and sisters, and debating the personality of a God which is far beyond our comprehension, we will gradually inch our way periodically towareds Armageddon.

When we do, look for me in the rear, turning around and heading the other direction.

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Apart

dictionary with letter A

Apart: (adv) two or more people or things separated by a specified distance from each other in time or space (e.g.: his parents are living apart)

  • What separates us defeats us.
  • What we consider unique is really arrogance.
  • Birds of a feather don’t always flock together.
  • Culture is often just a cult of superiority.
  • Fear of each other is instilled and never natural.
  • Yearning to be left alone opens the door to sadness instead of awareness.

All of these statements come from my heart. Yet the entirety of the passage would be questioned by most people in our generation

Why? Because in our cowardice to discover one another, we choose to scatter into our corners.

Is this a problem? Is there a danger in remaining apart?

If each one of us was marooned on a desert island without supplies, with people from all walks of life, the necessity for communication would be required for survival. Yet for some reason, we feel we can stay apart in our world and still survive the prejudice.

This is what I know: Earth was here long before I arrived. Even though my brattiness would like to believe it will stop when I die, it won’t.

So since I’m passing through, I have three choices:

  1. I can fix something that’s broken.
  2. I can break something that’s fixed.
  3. Or I can notice what’s broken and help someone who can fix it.

To achieve all of this, I must interact with my brothers and sisters.

To embrace solution … I will need all of them.

 

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