Christian: (n) a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.


Please describe. Yes, take a moment and grant me your visual interpretation of a typical person who lives in Montana. Here come the

  • Cowboy hats.
  • Rodeos
  • A slight drawl in speech
  • Independent thinking
  • Might even carry a gun or two

That is what we think about Montana. If we encountered someone who lived in Montana who did NOT fit any of those stereotypes, we might feel a little irritable, wondering why they insisted on living in our Montana.


As long as we cling to the typical stereotypical definition of what this creature seems to be, we quickly will find out that Jesus, himself, would not make a very
good Christian.

  • He did not favor ceremony.
  • He didn’t like being called “good.”
  • He didn’t seek the praise of people, but rather, encouraged them to prosper in their own faith.
  • He certainly wanted to be known for his teachings instead of the time he spent on a cross.
  • And it was his habit to rebel against any tradition and formality which took away the intimacy of personal belief.

So the truth is, when Jesus is presented the way he really was, we get irritable.

How dare he be a Jewish Messiah, fulfilling Old Testament prophesy as the “Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world,” and instead, present himself as the Good Shepherd, who welcomes everybody and does not think that judging others is a legitimate practice.



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Character: (n) mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual

There are four stop-offs in life.

Each one is available; each one is real. The type of character we derive is determined by whether we allow ourselves to linger or progress.

First, we’re born.

It comes with a whole package of possibilities, and also genetic guidelines. There are those who go no further. They take what they receive
from their DNA, listen to all training provided, and go through a brief period of rebellion, only to end up greatly resembling those who procreated them.

There’s a second opportunity. It’s called being born again.

Although the term has been limited to a Christian religious experience, it is available to all souls who are weary of the confinement of their childhood.

Some people stop at being born again. They end up with their homespun philosophy and a few extra ideas they add onto their train of thought.

But character does not form from being born or born again. Character begins to take shape when we’re born through pain.

Pain is that status that surrounds us whenever pleasure decides to go away. It reminds us of our weaknesses, it taunts us with our failures, and it takes all of our chromosomal lacking and brings it to the forefront. It is here that we decide to be something instead of letting the circumstances determine what we’re going to be.

Noble souls reach this point and begin to forge a personal definition all their own. They become valuable to the human tribe because they are contributors instead of detractors.

But the final stage is to be born universal.

This is when all name tags, cultures, prejudices and limitations of gender are set aside in favor of the simplicity of enjoying the next person we meet.

This station in life is not only color-blind, but also turns a blind eye to any vision that insists on hurting others or painting a dark picture of the life we’ve been given.

Four stations.

Where will we stop off?

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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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Broad-minded: (adj) tolerant or liberal in one’s views and reactions

Presumably, to be a Christian is to possess the mind of Christ.

At least, that’s what the Good Book says.Dictionary B

So that begs the question, what is the mind of Christ?

356 denominations in the Protestant movement meet together every week to advertise their concept of Jesus’ mental status. No wonder we have confusion. It’s a bit surprising that it hasn’t turned into a theological Demolition Derby.

What saves us from murdering each other is a common understanding of a few attributes of the personality of Jesus which are universally accepted.

  1. He loved people.
  2. He wasn’t pretentious.
  3. He had a servant’s heart.
  4. He was willing to die to save the world.

Without these, we would probably have just as many sects of terrorists as the Muslims.

For even with the predilection to shun particular lifestyles, every denomination is still stuck with the warning from Jesus: “Judge not lest you be judged” and “Those that are not against us are for us.”

So what does it mean to be broad-minded? The definition is very simple, but more complicated in application.

To be broad-minded is to acknowledge that some things are just none of our damn business.

The only debate is: which ones and how many?


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



Brand Name


Brand name: (n) a name given by the maker to a product

Johnson’s Baby Powder can cause cervical cancer.Dictionary B


The brand names keep tumbling, as research proves that the products we ingest and utilize to improve our beauty and comfort have undisclosed lethal effects.

Of late I have found myself surrounded by children and grand-children who are obsessed with brand names.

Simply because someone can sew a tag with a graphic design inside a shirt does not mean the garment is legitimately tripled in worth.

I have had brand name clothes, and they fade with washing and wear out equivalent to Dollar General threads.

Did I ever find myself bragging about a pair of shoes that were made in some hamlet in Italy by little old men who had been in the trade since Leonardo di Vinci?


But I was equally as critical of that footwear when it split out or wore out too soon, making me run to the local Wal-mart to gain a temporary replacement.

I’m not so sure that anything which makes us self-righteous, puffy, proud and arrogant has lasting value. And once a brand name loses its pungency because of scandal or lack of quality, it is very difficult to hang your hat on it anymore.

Take the brand name “Christian,” for example…

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Blessed: (adj) made holy; consecrated.

Dictionary B

To lead a blessed life, one must be aware of how to bless.

Even though the Christian experience extols the power and virtue of “doing good to those who do evil to us,” the typical human reaction is to duplicate what has been done to us–with a 20% increase in rage.

In other words, it’s not really “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” it’s more like “an eye for a popped pimple” and a “tooth for a sneer.”

With that in mind, we must learn that true progress cannot be made in our lives if we’re constantly plotting or dodging revenge.

To be blessed is to bless.

And to bless people is to balance the beauty of challenging and encouraging.

So to be blessed, we must be willing to be challenged, and receive our encouragement as fuel instead of awards. Yes, I take your words of appreciation and fill my tank so I am prepared to dole out the challenge and encouragement to others.

I also take your challenge as a way of improving my ability to relate to humankind instead of constantly finding myself an irritant.

The “Abrahamic” principle of “eyes and teeth” is not going to be rejected by the human race. It is firmly established in most of the religious people of this world.

But if you want to be successful, free of fear and devoid of the need to even the score, then find a blessed life … by knowing how to challenge and encourage those around you.

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