Complete

Complete: (v) to finish making or doing

And Alexander “wept because there were no more worlds to conquer”–a sentiment, I’m sure, shared by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Then there were a bunch of Puritans stepping onto a rock in Massachusetts, having arrived in the New World which they believed would funny wisdom on words that begin with a Ccomplete them–but actually nearly killed them.

It’s the bell that rings at the end of the day, telling us that work is done and dinner is prepared. Simpler times.

Or it is the bell rung at the end of the fight, that lets the beleaguered pugilists know they can stop punching.

It is a silly statement made by a man to a woman before he proposes marriage, claiming that “she completes him.”

It is the advertisement on the box that informs you that all the pieces are included and it is complete (until you discover there are two missing bolts.)

It is Christ hanging on the cross, saying “it is finished,” having already told his disciples hours earlier that his actual ministry was complete by doing the work of loving mankind and passing God’s message onto them.

It is what each of us hopes we will think when we come to the end of our journey.

Rather than sensing regret, we hope we will feel complete.

 

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Christ

Christ: (n) the title, also treated as a name, given to Jesus of Nazareth

From the original Greek, the word “Christ” means “Anointed One.”

So much like religion–one definition requires a second definition.

What is anointed?

Is the Christ the only Anointed One?

Are you anointed?

Am I anointed?

Or is it a religion because there’s only one anointed person, who is worshiped by scads of non-anointed followers?

When I read the New testament, especially the Gospels, I can envision Jesus as a person. It’s when they start working hard to make him the Christ, fulfilling
Testament prophesies and legitimizing traditional practices, that I tend to duck back into the shadows.

I often wonder if Jesus would consider himself the Christ, the Anointed One.

We do have the occasion when he deflected praise for being God from a rich young ruler.

He constantly elevated the floor plan of people’s lives by telling them that “their faith made them whole.”

Is it possible that all of a sudden he turns into this opulent Son of the Most High God, who declares himself to be the Anointed One?

And it begs the question: do human beings require an Anointed One? Does somebody have to be perfect, free of sin and sent from the heavens in order for us to be impressed and impacted?

I woke up this morning to a world of white, layered in snow. I looked out my window and watched as a man in a car braved the elements, sliding his way over the ice, out onto the main thoroughfare of humanity.

That was pretty impressive. I wouldn’t call him anointed, but I did stop for a second and applaud him.

What does it take to touch us as people?

We are touched when we’re around other people who are burdened by our same difficulties, and still have not given up.

That’s what moves us.

Jesus did pretty well with the multitudes.

But Jesus Christ lives in a more uppity neighborhood.

 

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Born Again

Born again: (adj) converted to a personal faith in Christ

“It’s my life.”Dictionary B

Hell, that would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Yet by the time I took my first breath, my mama and papa had already inserted so much hard-wiring into my circuits that much of my existence was already hammered in–triggered for response.

And if that wasn’t enough, I have five years of life which I can’t remember in detail, where I was brainwashed into accepting the pitter of the patter of my parents.

They weren’t done with me yet, though.

They sent me to school, camp, church, symposiums, and all sorts of educational excursions to further program my data base.

And then all of a sudden, when they were through with me, they tossed me out of the plane like a skydiver, screaming at me as I fell, “Don’t forget to open your parachute!”

Damn, I didn’t even know I had a parachute.

I certainly didn’t know how to access it.

You see, people often express their disdain, dislike and even dissociation with religion and spirituality. I listen to them voice their concerns, often legitimate ones, about the excesses and unnecessary interference of those who are pious and petty.

But I must admit that by the time I was falling out of that “coming-of-age” airplane, plummeting to Earth, I realized that the greatest need in my life was to have the chance to be born again–this time free of the control of others.

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Betray

Betray: (v) to expose one’s country, a group, or a person to danger by treacherously giving information to an enemy.

Dictionary B

Calling someone a “judas” is assuming that you’re the Christ.

Most people aren’t Judas–and I dare say, the Christ is yet to be duplicated.

The betrayals that happen in life are much simpler, less vicious, but ultimately just as aggravating.

Yet betrayal is always foretold in the actions of those who pursue such indignity.

Betrayers always:

1. Feel cheated.

If you want to avoid betraying others, never allow yourself to believe that you have been relegated to some position where you have no voice or ability to rise.

2. “I have a better idea.”

None of us are sure we have a better idea until those assertions are put into practice and all the flaws pop to the surface. But every betrayer is convinced that he or she is preferable to those who have been granted the position.

3. “Since no one will listen to me, I will take matters into my own hands.”

It is a sad situation when we believe that our opinion is ignored or we are so deluded that we have no desire to share our thoughts because we’ve already decided that those around us are truly our enemies.

If you allow these three things to come into your life, you will betray.

And once you betray, you will find yourself very alone … at the end of your rope.

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Antic

dictionary with letter A

 

Antic: (adj) grotesque or bizarre

What happens when you use two words to define one word and the two words you apply–which were meant to be synonyms–have absolutely nothing to do with each other?

Because bluntly, I would have to admit that there were times in my life when people would characterize my actions as bizarre, but I would never believe them to be grotesque.

To me, grotesque means “ugly” and bizarre means “unusual.”

Unless we’re trapped in some 21st Century contention that if you happen to be a bit less than beautiful, you’re unusual enough to be considered grotesque. Is that the message?

And an antic is not an appearance, it’s an action–and I, for one, can think of at least four antics off the top of my head which were considered bizarre, if not grotesque in their time, but have proven historically to be life-saving:

1. John Brown attacking the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in an attempt to free the slaves.

If any of us had met John Brown we would have called him grotesque and certainly bizarre, with his zealous appeal against slavery and his antic of attempting the take-over of a government installation with a bunch of church friends.

It wasn’t exactly well-planned, yet the Union soldiers went into battle singing about his antic to inspire them to destroy an antiquated and evil institution of owning human beings.

2. Jesus of Nazareth calling himself the Son of God–or if you want to be really picky, not raising any objection when others did so.

How much guts would it take to have faith in someone you were sitting next to, who had just farted, as he contended that he was possessed of divine inspiration? I don’t know if I could have pulled that off.

Yes, believing in the resurrected Christ is certainly easier than following the unkempt Galilean.

3. Winston Churchill.

When Adolf Hitler had taken over most of Europe and had set his sights on the British Isles, Churchill and a few of his cronies decided to make a last-ditch stand against the tyranny of Berlin. It wasn’t popular and certainly the bombing of Londontown was grotesque and bizarre.

But the action halted the progress of the Third Reich, allowing time for the United States to rally and help chase the bully back into the bunker.

4. And finally, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,. who by the way was raised in an era when Jim Crow was not only tolerated, but was considered to be evidence for how the Old South was resolving the colored/white issue.

What a bizarre notion, to think that people of all colors should be able to ride on a bus together, when in your entire life you had been taught by your elders that separation was inevitable, if not righteous. And how grotesque it was to see little girls blown up in churches because your antics were being objected to by the white plurality.

I think the definition offered by Mr. Webster portrays that antics are displeasing and therefore perhaps should be shoveled away.

Yet without antics, we don’t have any of the practical nuts and bolts that somehow or another, miraculously hold this contraption together. 

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Annotate

dictionary with letter A

Annotate: (v) to add notes of explanation to a text or diagram

It is my contention that education is knowledge followed by experience. It can even be experience that gradually garners knowledge.

But the idea that the more information imparted to us, with a variety of opinions, insights, notes, complete with bibliography, will make us smarter, is a bit erroneous.

I’m not so sure we learn until we take something that we kind of basically understand–and then try it ourselves.

Does anyone really become an engineer when they graduate from college, or does that actually occur some Thursday morning three years later, while working on the job?

I think this is particularly annoying in the fields of business and religion. So many books, commentaries, opinions and guides for the novice are penned in these categories, with the aspiration that an insight from someone other than ourselves will give us an edge.

Of course, we need to know what we’re talking about, and have a basic understanding of what we’re doing. But candidly, it is in the handling of circumstance and difficulty that we discover the true wisdom of each and every endeavor.

I grow weary of a culture that creates a learning class, which receives more finance than a working class that actually pulls the load. And not only finance–but status.

Case in point:

  • I studied music. It didn’t make me a musician. Somewhere in my third set, playing keyboard in a dive, discovering a new bridge chord, I gained the confidence to have the music in me.
  • I studied the Bible. It didn’t make me a Christian. It was a series of encounters, where I chose to think for myself and selected to bless instead of curse, when the mind of Christ actually inhabited my cranium.
  • I even studied sex in an attempt to become a better lover, but it was on the 121st attempt to please my partner through sensitivity that I actually had the words “Don Juan” whispered in my ear.

Notes are good. Testimonies are interesting.

But none of us are saved by someone else’s experience. The salvation of our lives … is the word of our own testimony.

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