Concise

Concise: (adj) giving a lot of information clearly and in a few words

I occasionally have this hilarious, comedic scene pass through my mind of arriving at the Judgment Day and having a very well-dressed, astute and proper St. Peter ask me, “In twenty-five words or less, tell me why you think you should go to heaven. And by the way, don’t use ‘uh, well,’ funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cor ‘basically’ as any of the words.”

Be concise.

Find a way to say what you mean without cushioning it with your inhibition, your fear or your exaggerated need to focus on yourself.

I learned a long time ago, started believing it five years later, and now have begun to practice the shortened version of anything I say, opening the door for those who are interested to proffer questions if elongation is necessary.

You know what I have found? There are no questions.

People are pretty well satisfied with the bare-bones rendition of my situation.

We believe that we are terribly interesting. We contend that if people are fascinated with us.

But concise is what puts us on guest lists for parties.

Concise is what increases our possibility for sexual encounters–because we are not over-begging.

Concise is what gets the job done instead of trying to figure out why the job can’t be done.

And concise is why we yell “Fire!” instead of describing it, explaining combustion or theorizing on the correct tools to extinguish it.

 


Donate Button


Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

(click the elephant to see what he’s reading!)


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Advertisements

Circa

Circa: (prep) approximately (often preceding a date)

Circa the time that humans discovered fire, they started cooking their meat.

Circa the arrival of iron, swords and plowshares were made. (Unfortunately, our species preferred the weapon.)

Circa the revelation that knowledge could be transferred into manuscripts and eventually books, libraries were built to confirm the power of
our more docile wisdom.

Circa the season when souls from Africa were considered slaves and only two-fifths of a person, the “Abraham of America” came and made us all a great nation.

Circa the arrival of instruments came music.

Circa the introduction of music came soul-washing.

Circa the introduction of a madman, the atom was split.

Circa the dropping of a bomb, we discovered the power we have to destroy ourselves.

Circa one war after another, young men and women have learned to protest the insanity of blood-letting.

Circa the arrival of the Internet with the ability for international communication, there is a scream for moderation and a prayer for personal contact.

Circa this moment, we are in search of our heart.

Here’s hoping we find it.

 

 

Donate Button

 

Burn

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Burn: (v) to flame while consuming

Snakes and fire.

I believe these two are natural enemies of all humankind.

I’ve always been afraid of snakes, without shame. But I realized my apprehension about fire when I found myself staying at a cheap motel called “The California.”(Yes, welcome to the Motel California…)

I was there with my family and we were occupying a room in the front corner near the office. One afternoon, we were half asleep, watching television, when there was a knock at the door. The manager was informing everyone that there was a fire.

I stepped outside, couldn’t see anything, but decided it was a good idea to get my family and some of our belongings out of the room, load them into the van and move the vehicle away from the property, just in case.

We gathered with the other patrons of the motel in the parking lot, when all at once the second floor, as if on cue, burst into flames. It was so sudden that everyone gasped. In unison, we moved back about twenty paces.

The heat was intense, the smell stung our nostrils. and our natural fear kept pushing us all further and further from the inferno.

It wasn’t a large motel, so by the time the fire trucks arrived, the entire establishment was engulfed in flames–except for the lower level near the office.

The firemen told us it would be many hours before we would be able to get back in to retrieve any belongings that might remain, so we went out to visit some friends and took advantage of a free motel room offered by a kind establishment down the road.

Over breakfast the next morning, I couldn’t keep my hands from shaking. I didn’t know what was wrong. But now I realize that I was completely terrified by the experience, and horrified by what might have happened.

An hour or two later, when we returned to the burned-out shell of the motel, we found that our room was intact, and that our belongings were a little damp, but able to be retrieved.

I don’t ever want to burn.

I guess the worst scenario for me would be to die in a fire while being bitten by snakes.

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

 

 

Brimstone

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brimstone: (n) sulphur

It’s rare to find brimstone without its friend, fire.

They travel as a duet.Dictionary B

Over the years, they have become the universal threat to mankind for sinful doings and disobedience to deity.

There are churches which spend all their time talking about a hell filled with fire and brimstone. The premise is that we should take our seventy-two years of life and continue to be so frightened by the prospect of burning up and reeking of sulphur that we muster a nervous righteousness.

Of course, Earth has so many temptations and delicacies to offer that sometimes the searing of fire and the sniff of sulphur are not enough to keep the pilgrim progressing.

There has to be more.

So you can feel free to join in the debate about the existence of a hell with fire and brimstone, or whether ultimately, a loving God gives universal passes to everyone at the great amusement park in the sky–but in the meantime, a tremendous amount of life is going on around you which screams for your participation.

I found out a long time ago that there’s no government or religion that has anything against kindness, gentleness, good cheer and humility.

Might these four be the key to life on Earth and eternity post-Earth?

I find it difficult to have much concern about brimstone.

I am, on the other hand, seeking a comfortable and joyous way … to keep my nose to the grindstone.

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

Axle

Axle: (n) a rod or spindle (either fixed or rotating) passing through the center of a wheel or group of wheels.dictionary with letter A

If I weren’t stupid, I would have no stories to tell. Smart people have a list of accomplishments instead of tales of mayhem.

I was a mere 24 years old and driving along in an airport limousine that looked like it should have been used in a 1940 Clark Gable movie. It had six seats in it, dual air conditioning units, and even had a metal cage in the rear to protect the luggage.

It was the most unpredictable vehicle I have ever driven.

First and foremost, you could not drive over 55 miles per hour because of some sort of “governor” they had placed on the engine.

But I was grateful to have it so that my singing group could travel across the country and annoy people with our increasing prowess.

One night as we were leaving Jacksonville, Florida, we noticed that the back passenger-side wheel was wobbling a bit. These are things a normal adult would be concerned about, but not a 24-year-old vagabond.

To counteract the wobbly wheel, I tried to drive faster. Suddenly I looked in my rear-view mirror and noticed that the back of the limousine was lighting up.

This seemed unusual.

So I pulled over and discovered that the rear of the vehicle was on fire.

I did have enough mechanical understanding to recognize that this fire was very near the gas tank, so I got the members of the group out, and we ran about a hundred yards away and watched it burn.

I thought about doing something brave, like taking off my shirt and beating out the flames, or trying to acquire some water from a nearby ditch to extinguish the blaze–but I didn’t.

We watched it like it was the latest release from Hollywood.

“Hmmm,” I thought. “The axle of my limousine is on fire…”

This was the end of my reasoning.

Fortunately for us, a truck driver arrived with a fire extinguisher and put out the flames as we gradually, but bravely, inched forward.

He was also kind enough to take his “breaker-breaker” radio and get us a tow truck.

The whole back axle was destroyed.

I guess someone felt sorry for us, and the man who worked on the vehicle replaced the whole axle, put on a new tire and only charged us $150. We even found a family to stay with while it was being repaired.

It was a remarkable event.

But still, every time I hear the word “axle,” I have the instinct to run like a little schoolgirl.

 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

*******************

NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping  & Handling

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Buy Now Button

 

Aim

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aim: (v) 1. to point or direct an object at a target 2. have the intention of achieving.

READY? FIRE!!

There seems to be a missing step.

Matter of fact, as I looked at the definition of “aim,” I realized what is creating much of our social upheaval. People are deciding they are ready, and they’re just firing away.

The aim is not clear.

Whether it’s about politics, religion, abortion, pornography, drug use or even guns–we figure that as long as we are ready, we should be able to fire. No wonder so often we’re missing the mark.

There is no aim. There is no taking a moment to find out if we’ve actually got a bead on our target.

So it become all right in our culture to call “close” a “direct hit.”

People speak their minds and then get criticized for their comments, only to return the next day to apologize in pre-scripted contrition. Might it have been a good idea to aim–even though you thought you were ready to fire?

Can I give you three considerations we can use as human beings if we will practice the art of aiming?

1. Excitement is not passion.

You can get people excited about almost anything, as long as they believe there will be approval or money. Passion is finding the root cause and the value of our endeavors before we start pursuing the mission.

2. “Firing” places a bullet in the air which cannot be retrieved.

As I get older, I find myself less willing to pull the trigger, and having much more fun practicing my aim. When I was younger, I thought it was powerful to do as much as I possibly could until exhaustion rendered me useless. Now I realize that saving my energy for heavenly ventures is the guarantee for earthly pleasure.

3. Being sure is the only guaranteed path to ending up wrong.

The slight adjustments we make in the brief moment after being “ready”–when we aim before firing–alleviate most of the embarrassments that come through shooting the wrong target. And it’s just fun to slow down and then discover that your choice of delaying prevented tons of stupidity from having its day.

If life is a firing squad, it’s important to be ready. Clean your gun, load it and be available. But don’t ever fire off in some wild direction because your temper, your beliefs or your friends have forced you to do so.

  • Take aim.
  • Find out what’s important before you squeeze one off.

Because it’s much more difficult to swallow your pride and admit you’re wrong than it is to lower your weapon … and be grateful that you didn’t do something reckless.

Aggravate

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAggravate: (v) 1. to make a problem injury, offense or situation worse 2. to annoy or exasperate

It takes two sticks rubbed together to create a fire.

At least, that’s what I hear. Having never actually used that method to generate the friction, I’m not certain it’s true, but I have no reason to question it.

I do get aggravated. When I calm myself down and think about what caused my aggravation, I realize it’s always one stick that I brought and another stick brought by somebody else.

The main stick I bring to create aggravation is always insecurity. It would be difficult for me to notice when I was being mistreated unless there’s a part of me that’s looking for it.

The people who aggravate me are individuals who bring their own insecurity my direction, and I begin to rub my stick of inferiority against them, resulting in fiery disagreement.

Why am I insecure? Here are three reasons:

1. I need too much. I have plenty, but rather than reveling in my abundance, I look over the shoulder of my benefactor to see if there’s more coming. What an idiot.

2. Part of me is not happy unless others have less. It hurts me to even write these words down–but there is a childish little boy inside me, who sometimes hopes that I end up with one more than my friends.

3. I believe in a God I don’t always trust. My prayers of politeness are not stimulated from my soul of belief. I am not always convinced that my “Father which art in Heaven” is willing to get off His throne and come to my house.

You put these three together and you have a stick up your rear that’s ready to be rubbed against somebody else’s inconsistency to create aggravation. And aggravation is the siphon that sucks all the fuel and potential out of human talent.

How can I stop feeling insecure? There is an old hymn which affords us an answer:

Count your blessings                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Name them one by one…”

Every time I do this, I am nearly embarrassed by the bounty provided for me–by God, life, my friends and my own abilities. It chases away my insecurity.

At that point, it is very difficult for me to become aggravated because I have no stick to rub.

May I remind myself of this today … and begin the count.