Badlands: (n) extensive tracts of heavily eroded, irretrievable land with little vegetation often found in the Southwestern U.S.Dictionary B

As much as I believe that God is a person, during my journey here on Earth, I value Him mostly as a concept.

What I mean is that since I am living in an atmosphere which determines quality by results, I must look for mortal conclusions instead of insisting on eternal ones.

I’ve learned this from dealing with conservatives and liberals.

In both parties there are certain issues, regions or individuals they have deemed “bad”–dare I say, irretrievable?

So sitting in San Francisco, talking to some of my more liberal acquaintances, I will relate to them about my journeys into Mississippi and Alabama as they roll their eyes and wonder what I could possibly hope to achieve by peddling my thoughts to the ignoramus.

In like manner, I have conversed with my conservative friends in Georgia, who heard that I was heading to Southern California, as they told me they would pray for me, hoping I would be able to do something to enlighten those “fruits and nuts” in the Golden State.

The greatest danger in the human experience is accidentally trying to transform one group of humans to divinity while forcing the remnant to live with the apes.

  • There are no badlands–just regions with a lack of vision.
  • There are no good lands–just territory where they use their talents.
  • There are no chosen people–just folks.

We will finally reach a sense of true spirituality when we take a hint from our Creator and stop living our lives peering at the outward appearance, and instead, begin to ascertain what is possible in the heart.

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dictionary with letter A

Append (v.): to add to the end of a document or piece of writing.

Much truth comes out through silliness.

I have found this to be very accurate and on point.

When we’re unable to speak our feelings clearly, we often cast to the wind a sideways remark, later insisting that we were “just kidding.”

For instance, certainly the people who wrote the books of the Bible had no comprehension that thousands of years later, souls would be poring over their thoughts, seeking eternal insights for their internal workings. If they had, they probably would have added an “append” at the end, or a P.S. which read, “By the way, when I wrote Chapters 4-7, I was grumpy and suffering from indigestion” or, “Just kidding.”

Likewise, the delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention knew almost immediately that they had left out some very important ideas, so they added a ten-point “append,” which we now refer to as the Bill of Rights. (Also some of them from the Northern colonies probably wanted to take their quills and jot down an apology to the black race for the three-fifths assessment of their value.)

There isn’t anything I write each day in my columns and blogs that I would want to become everlasting “gospel” for humankind. Maybe I should close with T.I.C. (Tongue In Cheek). So I reserve the right to append all of my pennings almost immediately.

If we really believe that documents are divinely inspired, then we must clarify by saying that they are not divinely scrawled. Even in the process of inspiration flowing through the human being, it picks up some trash, ignorance and dirt along the way.

The truly intelligent reader of great manuscripts must possess the discernment of the spirit which inspired them.

  • So I listen to Beethoven not to worship his talent, but to appreciate the creativity and the frailty which make it human.
  • I read Thomas Jefferson knowing that he had higher ideals than his morals could acquire.
  • And I study Moses and the Apostle Paul from the Good Book, understanding that the yearning they had to be universal was somewhat stalled by their sheep-herder and tent-maker mentalities.

It doesn’t limit the beauty.

It just brings focus to it.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAfterlife: (prep) 1. life after death 2. later life e.g. they spent most of their afterlife trying to forget the fire.

There is a certain presumption to the idea of heaven which often makes me uncomfortable. It’s this notorious notion that we can live a meager existence, fraught with fault, indecision and selfishness, and because God in heaven has granted us salvation, we will suddenly be translated into eternal, enlightened creatures.

I always wonder what people would think if heaven ended up just being their life–except maybe moving it to Hawaii. In other words, just a little better surroundings, but you bring your furniture.

What if heaven is not a relief of our pain, but instead, an individualized celebration of our discoveries on Earth? What if the misery we have claimed as our own is not alleviated, but instead, continued–just surrounded by hula girls and beaches?

Would the change in surroundings be enough to make us enjoy our choices better?

It’s confounding–because everything on earth works with a delicate balance of effort, patience and grace.

  • Effort in the sense that I actually show up and do my best
  • Patience because good things sometimes take a while
  • And grace because God, in His mercy, grants it to those who are truly humble

How can there be an afterlife if there wasn’t first a life?

If we offer a meager resume to the heavenly corporation, why do we think we are up for a promotion?

Well, you can believe what you want to believe. I think there’s a four-step process to making a life which would make any kind of afterlife absolutely delectable:

  1. Find what you can do.
  2. Do it well.
  3. Get better
  4. Help somebody.

This is the life I choose–and if I were asked to continue it in another place … I would be overjoyed to do so.