Bodily

Bodily: (adj) of or concerning the body.

Dictionary B

Every piece of contradiction is held in place with a reverence to a little scrap of silliness that we’re frightened to abandon.

So in politics we accept lying because it is the silliness we believe holds the process together.

In entertainment, we talk about the “bottom line,” preaching the notion that the pieces of art we foster must make huge profits–otherwise they are not worthy of production.

Likewise, we lift high the silliness of “blind faith,” when it is our doubt that makes our spiritual experience rich with discovery and hope.

And finally, this certainly is true when we talk about bodily functions.

Everybody craps, pisses, farts, screws, sweats, stinks and has aches and pains.

But rather than finding the great commonality which might remove a lion’s share of foolish bigotry, we whisper about these bodily similarities for fear of offending those who somehow believe that the One who created us would find such talk “nasty.”

I have nothing against appropriate dialogue in given surroundings.

But as long as we are afraid of our bodies, we will generate a cloud of deceit to hide our human essence.

 

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Bleed

Bleed: (v) to lose blood from the body

Dictionary B

Seventeen.

In the course of watching one evening of television–with a lot of channel flipping–I counted seventeen people who were shot.

All of them started to bleed.

I watched with interest.

It seemed to stain their clothing.

They appeared to be in pain, though I felt no empathy.

In one particular gun scene, ten of the seventeen were wounded with blood loss.

I watched intently.

Turning my television set off, I went into my bathroom to prepare for bed and realized I had not shaved that morning. So for some inexplicable reason, I thought it was a good idea to do so before I went to bed.

Call it clumsiness, stupidity or just a bit of “sleepy eyes,” I cut my lip with the razor.

Blood poured forth.

Not as much as you would expect to come out of a gunshot wound, but it struck terror in my soul and nearly made me frantic.

It was my blood coming out of my face with no immediate prospect for cessation.

It took me five minutes to stop the bleeding.

I looked down at discarded toilet paper covered with my red fluid and the sink stained. It was gruesome.

In actuality, I probably didn’t lose more than a tablespoon of blood–but it terrified me to see my life dribble away.

One of the things that disturbs me about entertainment is what we now consider to be entertaining.

Bleeding is bad.

Things that cause bleeding are equally as sinister.

And losing our sensitivity about a single drop of blood may be the definition of evil.

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Benchmark

Benchmark: (n) a standard against which things may be compared or assessed

Dictionary B

At the risk of barking out some dogmatic standards, I shall attempt to offer some concerns.

As I view the climate of politics, religion and entertainment, which are meant to be foundations in our American society, I realize that the benchmark for each one of these offerings has shifted over the years, unconsciously accepted by the masses.

Religion should have only one function: to teach us to love each other.

Anything else ranges from superfluous to dangerous. Nowadays we ask religion to afford us a heritage, a style, a uniqueness, or even a guarantee of eternal life.

The benchmark we have set for religion is careless.

On the other hand, the only benchmark for politics is honesty.

Without it, we fail to recognize what the true problems are, and therefore we end up working on the insignificant and overlooking the necessary.

Nowadays, politics is the symbol of deception, dissension, gridlock and even a certain amount of ridicule.

We’ve lost our benchmark on politics.

And finally, entertainment should have the benchmark of entertaining us, but also enlightening us.

Without these stipulations, entertainment starts to be sensationalistic, desiring a plumper and plumper bottom line.

When we lose our benchmarks, we start to stray, which makes us appear lost ... even as we insist we are following the cultural GPS.

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Bedraggled

Bedraggled: (adj) dirty and disheveled.Dictionary B

I know it may sound weird, but I was thinking about the word “ministry.”

It led me to the word “minister.”

In every facet of our society, we have prerequisites–demands for people who are allowed to cross through the front door and be included.

In politics, you have to be political, personable and part of a party.

In entertainment, you should arrive with good looks and talent.

In business, you need a plan, financing and an approach.

In college, it’s a good idea to arrive with a history of good grades and a scholarship.

Even when you’re cashing a check, you need proof that you exist and that you are who you say you are.

But sometimes, in each and every one of our lives, those pillars of proof and attributes of acceptability disappear. We hit bottom, and for some inexplicable reason, grab a shovel and start digging ourselves deeper.

  • We are not passable.
  • We don’t fit in.
  • We are at our worst.
  • We are not pleasing.
  • We are bedraggled.

We have ceased to register on the scope of reasonable human appearance and behavior.

That’s when we need a minister.

That’s when we need ministry.

So if those who are called to serve others and minister have a laundry list of requirements for the bedraggled souls who come their way, then we generate a Bowery of lost souls who have no place to go.

If dirty people have to get clean to be pure enough to remove the specks of grime that cling, then there is no hope for our race.

Somewhere there has to be a place, a person, an idea or a gospel which takes those who have sullied their opportunities, treats them as the human beings they were intended to be, and patiently guides them to a personal discovery and cleansing.

Is there such a place?

Is there a ministry?

Is there anyone who really still believes “whosoever will may come?”

 

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Bedevil

Bedevil: (v) to cause great and continual troubleDictionary B

Word has it that you are not allowed to pick and choose.

That’s too bad.

Because I will tell you, I would certainly love to have entertainment without sensationalism.

How about voting without politics?

I definitely would enjoy faith without religion.

Food without calories.

Marriage without gender bias.

And conversations without one-upmanship.

This especially becomes troubling to me when I consider that which bedevils us the most…that being the devil himself.

I am told that you cannot believe in God without acknowledging a counterpart–a Dark Lord named Satan.

Sometimes it almost makes atheism look appealing–not so much that I want to get rid of God, but just to eliminate the instinct to be preoccupied with his nemesis, Beelzebub.

To me, Satan has become the “Great Hall Closet,” where everything we don’t want to deal with gets thrown, hoping that by springtime our inclinations will improve.

Unfortunately for God, He receives surface praise for goodness and full responsibility for tornadoes.

Satan, on the other hand, seems to have greater power by manipulating evil empires and causing your boss to fire you, even though it might have just been a by-product of your lazy efforts.

I guess the worst thing of all is the darkness that bedevils us with fear and keeps us from our better angels.

So I don’t have an answer to this quandary, but instead, an abiding apathy.

In other words, I am one of those ridiculous realists who chooses to commune with God while ignoring the troublesome neighbor … with the pitchfork and horns.

 

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Bearable

Bearable: (adj) able to be endured.Dictionary B

Politics without attack ads and lies.

Entertainment that attempts to be both relevant and inspiring.

Religion that includes humanity.

Sexuality without violence.

Education that becomes wisdom.

Men and women finding common ground.

Reasons to get along promoted.

Selfishness unmasked.

Common sense revered.

Gentleness acclaimed.

Peace-makers considered brave.

Money a way to assist.

Comedy humorous.

Food as fuel.

Respect for the Earth.

Intelligence pursued.

Judgment removed.

Mercy studied.

Loyalty with a sense of history.

Flag-waving with introspection.

Debate with control.

Deceit exposed.

Self-righteousness ridiculed.

Yes, these things are bearable.

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Bassoon

Bassoon: (n) a bass instrument of the oboe family with a double reed.Dictionary B

If the goal of every endeavor is to gain fame or money, then we will end up doing very little in our lives–for fear of ending up with something that fails to deliver the goods.

I learned this early.

I made a decision to pursue things that made me happy, giggle or feel inspired. Whether other people found them to be equally as inspirational or entertaining was only secondary to my deep-rooted concern for entertaining myself.

In the process of chasing that philosophy, I found myself in Tennessee working with a partner to begin a symphony in a town that probably was completely uninterested in even learning how to spell the word.

Intelligently, we held our first concert very near Christmas and because of that and the basic human nature to be curious, we had a huge attendance, which seemed to bode well for the project.

I was so excited about the event that I wrote a special composition called Christmas. This particular piece of music began with a sprightly bassoon solo, establishing a bouncy, joyous melody which to me personified the uncontrollable anticipation of a child at Christmas.

We hired a bassoon player who just happened to really love playing the instrument. He didn’t get to perform very often in Tennessee, since there isn’t a high calling for bassoonists among the populace. So when he discovered he was going to get to play this delightful ditty, he practiced and practiced–and by the time of the concert, he literally exploded the musical magic off of his double reed.

When the audience heard the tune being played, they giggled like school children because it was such a pleasant representation of childhood memories.

I love the bassoon because it cannot hide its true personality. It is a growly, jubilant tone foretelling of grandfatherly wisdom … with just enough mischief.

 

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