Cross

Cross: (n) the structure on which Jesus was executed.

Word has it the angels appeared at his birth.

There were doves flying about as he was baptized.

He certainly favored his time with children.

His whole message about life began with the word, “Happy.”

He wanted us to consider lilies.

He told stories about sparrows.

He fed five thousand people with bread and fish.

His hands possessed some healing.

It says that he wept.

He marveled.

He talked about seeds, planting, fishing.

He favored the second mile.

They claim he personally emptied a tomb—more than once.

People walked after they met him. They hadn’t done that before.

People could see after an encounter with him—some of them born blind.

He was moved with compassion.

And he had the ability of looking at the world around him and discerning how things work—without bitching.

Yet with all this symbolism—all this imagery—all this amazing storytelling, he is known for a cross.

Unfair.


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Conclusion

Conclusion: (n) a judgment or decision reached by reasoning.

I have come to the conclusion that the more conclusions you come to, the less likely it is that you will actually arrive at a conclusion.

The human race has an inordinate greed to be smart. It’s in all of us.

Each one of us has to press it down a little bit or we would be incapable of standing in line at a grocery store without strangling the person in funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
front of us, who has twelve items in the ten-item lane.

You see, the problem is, we know this person has twelve items because for some ridiculous reason, we counted them.

Yes, the conclusion we must come to is that there’s a certain amount of indifference–dare we say, apathy?–which is necessary to possess in order to live with other humans. Otherwise, we begin to desire to treat them like animals, brought to us for training.

So may I present to you, in all humility, the only three conclusions that matter from the moment they cut your umbilical cord until the day you sever the cord between yourself and the living:

  1. The happiest people in the world do not draw any conclusions.
  2. If they have conclusions, they use them to benefit their own journey and decorate their own space.
  3. A world without conclusions is often chaotic, but does allow for excellence to rise to the top.

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Bucolic

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bucolic: (adj) referring to the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life.

When my assistant spoke the word–“bucolic”–I said, “I’ve heard that before.”

I had no idea what it meant.

I’m careful not to use words that I’ve suddenly discovered, thinking it will make me appear intelligent Dictionary Band well-versed in the vernacular.

So when she looked up “bucolic” and read the definition, a thought immediately came to my mind. It’s kind of a strange one.

The thought was, we are never totally happy where we are.

If we’re sitting out in the middle of a beautiful pasture filled with trees and flowers on a springtime day, the notion will suddenly present itself: “This would be perfect if I just had a Big Mac and a Coke.”

Then we may find ourselves stuck in a traffic jam, sucking in the fumes of oil and gasoline, wishing for the bucolic surroundings of a robin in the forest, flying toward its nest.

Strangely, we find both positions to be acceptable. After all, dissatisfaction might be considered one of the top four “normal” conditions of humankind.

Yet somewhere inside us is a desire to be content with what we have.

Because when I’ve allowed contentment to rattle around my belfry, it has rung the bells of appreciation.

It may sound sappy to be happy with what’s crappy.

But when I am, I’m more pleasant to be around.

I know that no one likes my bitching–not even me–but I follow it like a monk in a monastery.

I’m hoping that when I finish this life I will be remembered for the kind words I conjured in the midst of turmoil … instead of the turmoil I decided to conjure in the midst of kindness.

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Bootstrap

Bootstrap: (v) to get oneself out of a situation using existing resources.

There are two distinct paths that lead to happy–one is pursuing success and the other is fostering contentment.Dictionary B

Both paths will get you there.

The only question is, which one of these situations is more common to Planet Earth?

For instance, there would be no need to call “success” by a different name than “life” unless it was somewhat uncommon. Otherwise, everyone would just say, “My life makes me happy.”

But actually, for most people, it is success that makes them happy. Anything short of that brings some sensation of disappointment.

On the other hand, if it is possible for us to cleverly derive energy from life–to bootstrap our way into contentment–well, I guess you could say that we can fool ourselves into being happy.

The man who demands twenty dollars will never be satisfied with ten. But the person who would love to have twenty dollars, who has already devised a plan to survive on five, will rejoice over ten.

Can it really be that simple?

Can we work for a higher goal while keeping our expectations more realistic?

Truth is, if we don’t, we’re going to bounce back and forth between discouragement and elation, leaving those around us never certain of who we are–and making us unable to ascertain the depth of our ingenuity and resilience.

 

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Be

Be: (v) to exist.Dictionary B

Since we all exist because our parents got horny, we may want to come along and glamorize the story a little bit. Otherwise, we occasionally are overwhelmed by the futility of life, and may even wonder why we were born in the first place.

This demands a certain amount of arrogance.

Since having a baby is so easy that even dumb people accomplish it, we can’t exactly stomp around and claim that we are part of some sort of cosmic eruption or heavenly proclamation.

Finding a “be” is what is necessary to make us content.

And without contentment, we stop being happy, which makes us annoying and causes other people to wish we’d never been born,

I’m not quite sure which is worse–is it my self-doubt concerning my value, or whether everyone around me doubts my value?

So how do you find your be in a C minus world?

How do you discover how to translate a collision of chromosomes into a beautiful, chromatic, climbing scale of living glory?

1. Never think you’re better than anyone else.

Since we all came from an egg, we should all work on being “good eggs.”

2. Don’t be satisfied with your talent.

Use it and multiply it. Otherwise, you’ll wonder why people don’t appreciate you for doing the same thing you did last year.

3. Be aware.

There is nothing sexier or more powerful, intelligent, profitable and viable than noticing what’s going on around you.

If you take these three things and put them into practice, then you have a chance to not only live a blessed life … but to be instead of not to be.

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Basis

Basis: (n) the underlying support or foundation for an idea, argument, or process.Dictionary B

Brains, bowels and kidneys.

Even though the idea of losing weight is valuable, the concept of becoming thin is unlikely. But the possibility of relieving pressure on your brain, bowels and kidneys is increased greatly by just changing a few foods in your diet.

And since that trio controls most of our disposition and sense of well-being, the basis for good eating is not just weight loss, but rather, feeling better.

Let’s try another one:

Hope, faith and love

Three elements that are very difficult to subtract from your life unless you want to be miserable. Yet they do not appear simply because you request them. To achieve them is to posses a belief that contends that good things can happen, and that the universe is not opposed to such delightful conclusions.

That’s why most people believe in God. God gives them the possibility of being happy here, and much happier later.

How about politics?

Truth, honor and prosperity.

These three confirm that what we’re doing is worthwhile. So if a political candidate tries to convince you that he or she is” not as bad as the other contestant,” he or she may become a city councilman, but never a senator.

A senator must tell the truth in an honorable way, proving that we all will grow in prosperity. This is the goal of the campaign. If not, the candidate will be defeated by his own defeatism.

What is the basis of your life?

  • It certainly is not to work, unless you’re going to play.
  • It certainly is not to pray if you’re not going to be happy.
  • And it certainly is not to love, unless you’re going to be loved.

Find the basis for what makes you work–and then rejoice over discovering the key to your happiness. 

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Agog

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgog: (adj) very eager or curious to hear or see something: e.g. the tourists were all agog to see New York

I told her she did good work.

She replied flatly, “It’s just my job.”

She was my waitress at the restaurant, and she had done exceptional service to us, worthy of praise and a good tip. She just didn’t realize how valuable and rare she was.

As I finish Tour 2013 across this country, may I share with you a recurring reality? Something has died.

The carcass doesn’t stink enough yet for people to be aware, but it won’t be long. We have gone from being a nation which at least occasionally would be “agog” about our lives to being bored individuals who look at everything as “agig.”

We have lost the spontaneity, the humor, the adventure of solving problems and just the sheer joy of surviving a little bit of hassle in order to manufacture a victory which we can proudly initial.

I’m not exactly sure what we want.

  • Movies are bigger and more expensive than ever, but don’t have legs. People just don’t talk about them.
  • Music is over-produced, over-discussed and overwrought, yet does not create the simple stirring caused by a single Dylan guitar.
  • Government is more prevalent, but certainly less proficient..
  • Churches have become transfixed with the notion of “mega,” while simultaneously settling for a “mini” cultural influence.

We saw it coming. For after all, about fifteen or twenty years ago we decided to stop being impressed with anything. We called it “sophisticated.” “Laid-back.” We referred to it as “maturity.” We thought we were extraordinarily cool when we said, “I’ve seen that before.”

So on my part, I have made a conscious effort to avoid looking at anything as “agig,” but instead looking at it as “agog.”

Staying in motel rooms, I have learned to cook with only a microwave oven, making elaborate casseroles and meals. I am impressed with both the results and myself.

I am agog that people are still willing to come out from their homes and experience something new–something they’re not even sure they understand or will appreciate.

If we’re going to arrive at the full fruits of freedom, we must never cease to be in awe of the idea. For the only true way to ever lose your independence is to take it for granted.

And the only way you will ever be devoid of joy … is to stop looking for happy.