Citadel

Citadel: (n) a fortress on high ground

How can you take the high ground without instinctively looking down on those beneath you?

It became an issue in the recent presidential campaign. Both candidates insisted they were taking the high ground, while simultaneously
using the concept to proclaim themselves superior.

Unfortunately, any insistence on superiority renders us weakened by the kryptonite of pride.

I need a citadel.

I need a place where I can climb a little higher in my consciousness–not to peer down at the infidel, but to have the chance to see things the way they are, and not the way they appear at ground zero.

My life requires a sweetness of morality, a gentleness of empathy and an awareness of my talent.

In order to mingle these factors, I must don the cloak of humility. For humility is not the absence of ability, but rather, the evidence of it without needing to overpower all comers.

Yes–America should be a citadel.

Our faith should be a citadel.

My life should be a citadel: a piece of higher ground that does not insist on being worshipped because of its elevation, but instead, uses the bird’s eye to consider all the sparrows.

 

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Chronicle

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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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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Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee: (n) a great ape

“Keeping an open mind so I can claim to have one…”

Yes, that’s me.

I don’t think I’m alone. It seems, in our generation, that being decried for having a closed mind is the worst insult we could sling at someone.
We all pretend that we are very willing to learn new things as we strategically place ourselves smack in the middle of repetition.

Being a person of faith, I got tired of those who are not bent in that persuasion, accusing me of being ignorant because of my insistence on valuing creation instead of adhering to evolution. Actually, I agree with evolution–up to a point.

And that point is the chimpanzee.

The chimpanzee is supposed to be our closest cousin, or some sort of relative. So one day I decided to go to the zoo, observe the chimpanzee, and discover what similarities I had with this non-kissing-cousin. I stayed for a full hour–matter of fact, I stayed so long that I think the little monkey became paranoid.

The chimpanzee seemed to have a great preoccupation with its own penis. It frequently reached down to pull on it, as if releasing it from some sort of prison.

The creature also favored scratching its ass, made unintelligible sounds, and hopped around from place to place with no real destination.

It became aggravated when someone took its food or threatened to occupy its space.

It seemed to glare a lot. (It could have been gas.)

It wasn’t particularly friendly. Of course, that could have been due to the fact that it was in a zoo instead of out on the Serengeti.

It didn’t like its fellow-monkeys, and appeared to be a little chippy, looking for a reason to argue.

It was obviously selfish.

It stopped from time to time–appearing to preen. (At least that’s the way I would describe the self-stroking.)

It was very preoccupied, and most of the time, seemed bored.

I realized I was wrong.

It is very human.

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Chancy

Chancy: (adj) subject to unpredictable changes and circumstances

My confidence is kept in a bucket. You may not know it, but yours, too.

  • It’s not in a salt shaker, where it can be sprinkled.

It’s not in a cup, where it can be gradually poured.

Generally speaking, I have to take all of my confidence and dump it into the next thing I’m pursuing. Confidence cannot be used sparingly.

So we often find ourselves looking in the face of a “chancy opportunity”–wondering if it’s worth our confidence.

I feel that way about so many things I wouldn’t even know where to start.

I think the American way of government is a chancy proposal, that still demands my full bucket of confidence.

I think the marital institution is a very chancy proposal–fifty-fifty, if you will–which still requires I bring a full bucket of confidence.

I think the whole belief system which contends there is a single God who created the universe and is waiting to meet us in heaven, is rather chancy.

But I certainly cannot enter into it halfheartedly or with extreme doubt.

It’s a chancy thing.

Every day of our lives we dump confidence into our jobs, our families, our doctors, our lawyers–hoping that our great investment will bear dividends.

There is no man or woman alive who does not live by faith.

Just some of us decide to call it God.

 

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Chafe

Chafe: (v) to make a part of the body sore by rubbing against it.

In the pursuit of complete transparency, wisdom dictates that some subjects still remain opaque. In other words, keep it to yourself.

I can think of a few:

I don’t want to hear about your bowel movements.

Maybe every once in a while late at night with a really close friend, the subject might offer some entertainment value, but overall, keep your
fiber intake private.

Here’s another one: your sexual prowess.

Please don’t even allude to it. Don’t get in mixed company and talk about how you were voted the best kisser in your senior class as you peer around the room to see if all the hearers have truly heard. I admit, it is rare to find any human being who will be truly honest about their weakness in the bedroom, but please, don’t tell me a bunch of stories or offer affidavits from satisfied customers.

Here’s another one: make your faith in God a visual thing that I can perceive by watching your actions, instead of something you need to recite in detail to make sure you have truly and completely fulfilled your obligation to testify.

Religion should not be personal, but rather, very public–because we live it out. But if living it out is not enough for you to make your point, then passing out pamphlets probably won’t improve your chances.

There are many others I could mention, but let me close by saying that you should probably not discuss how or how often you chafe.

I am an obese man, so my thighs have been known to have unnecessary intercourse with one another during the day, leaving them red and raw. But you don’t need to hear me discuss it or request possible remedies.

Weakness is a good thing if nearly everyone in the room shares it in common and can immediately identify with it.

But if your skinny friends have never chafed, they will probably have neither interest nor sympathy for your red, glowing, puffy legs.

 

 

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Centurion

Centurion: (n) the commander of a hundred men in the ancient Roman army.

I’m not sure what causes a person to be open-minded.

Certainly rejecting fear would help.

Relieving yourself of the conviction that you and all your co-horts possess the only answers would also be beneficial.

But in the Good Book, there is the story of a centurion. He has a servant. Now, we know the centurion is in charge of a hundred men, which
means he’s been given some rank and confirmation of the authenticity of his ability. So why would such a fellow be concerned about a servant? How would that relationship have sprouted?

We know that the gentleman was not only a commander, but was also open to the idea that opportunities can come from unlikely places. So rather than having a servant who hates you, why not have one who loves you?

But when that servant becomes sick and you realize that all those possessing medical knowledge who surround you are inept in advancing a cure, then it becomes necessary to use your open mind to consider a more unorthodox option.

How about an itinerant preacher from Nazareth, who is disrupting his religious community, but supposedly has healing in his hands?

The centurion did not allow his sense of Roman superiority to overwhelm him, leaving him without a remedy. He sent a messenger to ask Jesus to heal his servant. When Jesus started to head his way, the centurion was sensitive enough to realize that if this Nazarene came into his home, the young man would be considered unclean because he was at the hearth of a heathen.

So the centurion told Jesus just to say the word, and the servant would be made well. After all, as a centurion, he did that all the time with his soldiers. “You go do this. You go do that.”

Jesus was impressed. He said, “Never have I seen so great a faith.”

So maybe the definition of faith is when we realize we don’t have anything to lose, so being open-minded about other choices just might be life-saving.

 

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