Closet

Closet: (n) a  wardrobe, especially one tall enough to walk into.

Coming out of the closet has become synonymous with revealing one’s sexual preference. Yet an earlier mention of the closet was offered by Jesus: a location for prayer.

He was concerned that people would pray in public to be heard, using flowery words and long sentences to make themselves appear
spiritual.

Jesus recommended a closet.

So when coming out of that closet after prayer, the power of the experience should be the energy offered and the optimism initiated. It was to be a place of reflection, empowerment, personal humility and discovery.

Much has been achieved by encouraging humans to come out of the closet, offering revelations on their personal status. No doubt about that.

But we are human. Ultimately our main concern is not whether someone is gay or straight, or whether they pray or not, but instead, if they’re going to be cooperative. It’s not the status of male or female, but instead, an evaluation on how well they are able to evolve. Also, it’s not if they are Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jew, but rather, a determination about the comprehension on how Planet Earth really works.

So to some degree, we all need to come out of the closet–after a sweet time of contemplation, consideration and prayer.

And hopefully, when we do come from the closet, we will arrive to promote acceptance and unity with those around us.

If we do, then our time in the closet was well-spent.

If we don’t, we feed the suspicion in others that our choices are selfish and rude.

 

 

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Clergyman

Clergyman: (n) a male priest, minister, or religious leader, especially a Christian one

All the mistakes I’ve made in my life were caused by me thinking that what I had to offer was not enough.

Whenever I calmed down and realized that the stash in my duffel bag was the total subsistence of my life and journey, I was fine.

But when I allowed myself to be intimidated by forces around me which deemed my offering to be meager because it lacked some
certification, I always ended up either a fool or a liar.

I wanted to help people.

I wanted to use my art to do so.

I wanted to share a message that had humor, hope and heft.

But I also once was very young, and contended that I needed some title to punctuate my adequacy.

Since I did not go to college, I wasn’t allowed to be called “a Reverend.” Therefore I could not be a clergyman.

I don’t know why I wanted to pursue such a position–I guess I just wanted folks to be impressed when they heard the full extent of my resume spoken in a word: “minister.”

So I lied. I manufactured higher learning. And eventually I just called myself a “Reverend” even though I didn’t have any pedigree to bark out spirituality.

It took me many years to escape the foolishness of my insecurity. As soon as I did, I realized that being a clergyman was actually to my disadvantage, because my music, writing, dramatic pursuits and screenplays were much more effective tools for reaching my brothers and sisters than climbing into a pulpit and emoting.

I often think, what is it I’m doing today that’s equally as stupid as my pursuit of being a false cleric?

I don’t know. But I keep looking.

Because if I catch it early, maybe I can avoid some of the embarrassment that occurs when people finally find out the truth.

And…

They always do.

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Christian

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

Montanian.

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

  • 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.

Christian.

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

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

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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

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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