Chronicle: (n) a factual written account of events

It is a rather humbling thought–that each one of us basically makes our appearance on Earth and disappears, all within a hundred years.

A hundred years may sound like a lot if you’re five years old, but by the time you reach fifty, it is melting like summer ice.

Truthfully we all leave one lasting impression behind. How did we chronicle our journey?

Because we do chronicle it–through our attitude, our faith, our persistence, our interactions and our willingness to evolve and adapt.

Some people choose to chronicle Earth by acting like they’ve been placed here to critique it. They always seem to have a negative side to the most positive results. They will gladly tell you it’s just their nature–their way of helping to maintain quality control.

Some people chronicle the Earth by refusing to participate.They develop four or five ideas which they refuse to amend no matter how much evidence comes to disprove their assertions. They are proud of stubbornness.

There are those who chronicle the Earth by ignoring it and waiting for heaven. Their whole focus is in achieving an eternal life which has been heavily promoted but not seriously reviewed.

But for those souls who believe in simplification, the best way to chronicle the Earth is to stay silent until it is time to count one’s blessings. Obviously there will be some struggle in achieving good. There will be many errors in the process of getting there. And there will be moments when the Earth will seem like the hell we’re escaping to get to the heaven we desire.

Yet it is such a boring way to live–complaining about the status quo instead of announcing the coming show.

I shall chronicle the Earth, though I will only be here for less than a century.

I will make sure that century is peppered with good reports, bold experimentation and a faith that includes myself and others, with the presence of God.

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Celestial: (adj) belonging or relating to heaven.

Did you ever realize that all the descriptions we have of eternal life are related to us via ancient manuscripts, from people who lived in the first century A. D.? And then we’re working under the trust that he or she actually had a vision of the supernal location.

Other writers have tried to parallel the existing insights, but we are pretty well stuck with an ancient history about our future history.

Do you find that a bit disheartening?

To me, the celestial realm is already a trifle bizarre. Since my physical body is made up of the same stuff as a bear and moose–flesh, blood, veins, arteries–it does seem a bit presumptuous to think that my wilderness friends turn into dust and I live forever.

It’s because I have a soul. Which means they don’t. Yet there is a certain amount of arrogance mingled with ignorance in the presumption of walking on streets of gold.

So where does that leave me? It certainly places me in the category of believers who yearn for a heaven someday. Yes, I have enough arrogance and ignorance to line up with those masses.

But it does give me pause to appreciate, generate and evaluate my earthly lifespan with greater tenderness and passion.



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Burial: (n) the action or practice of interring a dead body.

Only twice in my life have I stood at the graveside to observe the burial of a loved one.

On both occasions, I felt neither sadness nor reassurance–sadness over losing the individual, and reassurance that somewhere they were being embraced by delighted angels welcoming them home.

Although I am a believer in God, I find that death is a great deterrent to my faith, and discourages my hope. Because many times I have been at the burial of a bug, a mouse, a cat, a dog or viewed animals slain as I drove on the highway on a summer’s day.

On the two occasions when I was staring at the caskets of dear souls I knew, I couldn’t get over the familiar sensation that swept over my being on seeing a rotting deer on Interstate 40, lying motionless on the berm.

There was no life.

There was no continuation.

There was just an end.

I don’t like burials. They remind me that we are all heading into the ground to turn back into the dust of our alleged beginning. It is difficult to comprehend that such an action could be the first step to eternal life.

Unfortunately for me, it feels like the merciful, necessary disposal of road kill.


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Bonus: (n) something welcome and often unexpected

“…and if you vote for so-and-so, your life will become better.”Dictionary B

“…if you put twenty dollars a week from your paycheck into the bank, when you turn 65, you’ll have a nest egg.”

And of course:

“…if you believe in God, when you die you’ll go to heaven.”

These are examples of delayed bonuses.

I don’t believe that a bonus is really a benefit if it’s delayed.

The promise of a coming blessing is more aggravating than encouraging. In the meantime, it leaves you with two choices: you can suffer through what you’ve got, reflecting on what’s coming, or you can try to forget about what’s coming and convince yourself that what you’ve got is enough.

Both of these profiles have varying degrees of misery.

I don’t think I could be a spiritual person if I thought the only gift I received from such a relationship with God was eternal life.

First of all, I have no comprehension of life going on forever. Honestly, I don’t even know if I like the idea.

And secondly, I need confirmation that I will receive encouragement, value and opportunity by pursuing eternal life in my present journey.

If there’s too much time for the arrival of the carrot after being poked by the stick, the carrot stops feeling worth it.

In other words, if God’s will can’t be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, it’s just not much of a bonus package.

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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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Angel food cake

dictionary with letter A

Angel food cake: (n.) a light, pale sponge cake made of flour, egg whites and no fat, typically baked in a ring shape and covered with soft icing.

Even though many people are possessed with the notion of eternal life, streets of gold, heavenly reward, bliss and mansions, I have a simple and short wish list for any afterlife that may or may not exist.

No calories.

That’s it.

When I finally finish this journey, I will have spent my entire life in the pursuit of weight loss, which at times teases me with a semblance of progress, only to later taunt me by having the lost pounds reappear as if I had deposited them into an account instead of squandering them in Vegas.

I am not angry, frustrated or giving up on the idea of trying to be trimmer and slimmer. But after many decades of maintaining a similar weight and actively pursuing different approaches to my eating habits, I gradually realize that if life was a poker game, I am sitting at the table with a pair of eights. (In other words, just enough to keep you thinking you should continue to play, but very little prospect of winning the hand unless you can bluff your opponent.)

This is my problem with angel food cake.

It is a lower calorie choice to devil’s food cake, but not absent caloric intake and so light that you feel you can have a second or third piece, which then brings it to equivalency with the satanic version.

It’s so cruel.

It’s like all diet foods. They are lower in calories, but the body immediately knows that the density and depth of quality is absent, so therefore requires more, making things equally as tubafying.

Angel food cake is delicious, but as you can see from the definition, the baker feels the need to add icing. Most people want a bit of strawberries or whipped cream, and then, because it’s a more prudent choice, additional slices are required, are they not?

I do not know what the secret is to weight loss. Anyone who tells me they do I know to be either a fool or a charlatan.

But I do know this–simply calling something angelic does not mean it came from heaven. 

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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alms: (n) money or food given to poor people

Unless you’re wearing a robe and walking around Galilee with a message of eternal life, the word “alms” will probably never come to play.

But I do think it’s important to understand what an alm truly is.

We live in a society where charitable giving is funneled through organizations which take their own hunk out of the generosity for office expenses and personnel.

We like this system. We enjoy it because paper is passed on to people who do the work and we don’t have to worry about it.

We never find out the destination of our alms; we never actually have a visual of the individuals who are helped. In some strange way we think this makes it even better, so our personal prejudices or time limitations are not involved in the distribution of the wealth.

But you see–that’s not really what an alm is.

An alm is a desire to find someone every day who needs something you have, and making sure that person has a name, a face and a smell–someone directly in front of you who is given the chance to do whatever he or she decides with your contribution.

Some people have a problem giving money to the homeless because they’re afraid they’ll use it for alcohol. They might. But think how angry you would be if your employer demanded a list of purchases from you which had to be approved by the main office before you were granted a paycheck.

Occasionally someone will comment that they think I am a generous soul. I just laugh. I’m just as selfish as the next bastard–so inwardly involved that I’m greedy for the sensation that I receive when I personally impart a gift to someone, see their face light up, and realize that for that moment they believe I am not only blessed of God, but have descended like an angel to bring good cheer from supernal heights.

Yes, I lust for an opportunity to “play god”–to stand face-to-face next to folks in need, granting them a piece of their missing puzzle.

We lose something when we write a check to a mega-organization which earns its grits and gravy by collecting funds from people who would rather not make physical contact.

  • I want to be the alm-giver.
  • I want to see, smell, hear and feel the sensations of those who receive the alms.
  • I want to give–not so people around me will notice–but so I notice, and for that moment, I feel there is more God in me than ghoul.