Brethren

j-r-practix-with-border-2

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.

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


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

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

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

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

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

Advertisements

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.

 

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


 

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

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

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

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

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

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.

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

 

 

Armageddon

dictionary with letter A

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.

Donate Button

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

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.

 

Donate Button

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

All

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

All: (adj & pron.) referring to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing

As a writer, it’s a word I don’t get to use very often–because putting it to work immediately conjures an image of inclusion without exception.

In other words: “all the people suck.”

You can imagine, there would be some objection to that sentiment.

Even if you trimmed it down to “most people suck,” you might be accused of being overwrought.

Some of the people suck” is more temperate, but still appears that you think all the people suck and you’re just playing it safe.

So most writers, to protect themselves from the marauding horde of critics, will use the preferable: “a few.”

Yes. A few people suck.

This enables the reader to escape the condemnation of being a sucker, and determine, in his or her own mind, who the rejected few might be.

But there are things I hope really will continue to be believed as applicable to all:

  • How about liberty and justice for all?
  • How about God loving all the world?
  • I like this one: All our possibilities are possible as long as we don’t deem them impossible.
  • All we have to do is love one another.
  • All human beings are equal.

So to me, “all” is a word of aspiration, faith and welcoming. And even though I am careful not to use it when I get in a gruff mood–to rain my verbal fire and brimstone down from my personal heavenly perch–I do greatly enjoy including all my brothers and sisters … when I know blessing is waiting around the bend.

 

Academia

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Academia: (n.) the environment or community concerned with the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship: he spent his life working in academia.

I just don’t know why we can’t find a middle ground–especially in the realm of those who enjoy a walk of faith and individuals who solely embrace a religion of education. It seems like they stand on opposite ends of a scorched battlefield and hurl fireballs at one another.

Is there such a thing as SMART faith? Or perhaps better stated–“faithfully smart?”

Is it possible to believe in the divine blessing of a Creator and still be fully aware that Mother Nature runs her household by “the survival of the fittest” and freely evolves at will?

I don’t know why prayer has to be framed in ignorance, nor do I understnad why the discovery of a great treasure of information can’t be celebrated in reverence to the original Information Giver?

At times I feel pulled. Should I side with those who seem to possess a cranial superiority? Or kneel at the altar with my brothers and sisters who understand the value of repentance and humility?

Am I a weirdo? To me, knowledge is just the wonderful, greasy slide that gets us more quickly to the swimming hole of wisdom. I don’t think it’s possible to understand the wisdom of God without recognizing the tenets of knowledge that get you there. Nor do I think that revering academia and some “Ten Commandments of intellectualism” draws you closer to your Daddy in Heaven.

I like smart things. They further enlighten me of the higher intelligence of the universe–and I’m so benefitted by knowing that there IS a higher intelligence in the universe. It gives me hope that I might one day escape my own stupidity.

There is no actual war between God and knowledge–only a skirmish in our own souls when we believe you can separate one from the other.