Ascend

Ascend: (v) to go up or climb or rise through the air.dictionary with letter A

There are really three definitions, aren’t there? And by the way, quite different.

For after all, if I go up the stairs, it means that somebody has already constructed a passage, built the system and may even have taken the precaution of providing a handrail.

If I climb, it means that no such provision has been made for me, and I am taking my brute force to grab onto whatever is stationary to pull myself up.

And if I rise, then some tide of energy has come beneath me and lifted me without requiring my effort or even stepping up the stairs.

But the end result is the same. I ascend.

Some people are enamored by the process of controlling all the factors and formulating a plan to provide a solution to what seems to be an “insurmountable problem.”

Other people enjoy the sheer gut determination of using only their own prowess to place them in a higher position.

And then there are those who are completely infatuated with the supernatural and want to believe that without the help of some divine energy, little is accomplished.

Call me strange. I am very willing to stop and allow God to be God. But on those occasions when God is not available or for some reason has chosen to refrain from using His magic wand, I will make use of the stairs provided to get me to the next level. And certainly, if it’s important enough and I feel motivated and called to do so, I will climb against the grain to achieve a bird’s-eye view.

  • All three are important.
  • All three transform us.
  • And in my mind, all three should be included and given their due respect as we admit to one another that to remain in a lower position simply out of pride or fear is to fail to attain the heights of glory.

 

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

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Apparition

dictionary with letter A

Apparition (n.) a remarkable thing that makes a sudden appearance, especially a ghost.

I believe in ghosts.

Not the cloudy, smoky spirits of souls who have gone on to their reward or retribution. I’m talking about the ghosts of bad ideas, inclinations and fallacies that possessed our world in the past, and now have come to haunt us in the present.

  • Sometimes I just wish we could come up with new bad ideas.
  • Sometimes I just wish there was something new.

But instead we have the poltergeist of previous ridiculous concepts rising up from the grave, where we thought we buried it, only to spook us once again.

We don’t have new scandals. We have the spirit of Richard Nixon and Watergate infesting the present bodies of our politicians, making them do the same stupid mistakes he tried to pull off, which ended up with his destruction.

We don’t have music born of the spirituality and emotions of our own generation, but rather, grave-robbers who go and dig up the tunes of those who are now decomposing.

We are continually vexed by the apparitions of past failures or the ongoing celebration of victories, where the band has already played and marched away.

We spend too much time celebrating the past, forgetting the prejudice, disease and dumbness that prevailed.

I believe in ghosts because we refuse to inter the past.

So we just keep living this stuff over and over again … like a bunch of tales from the crypt.

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Apparent

dictionary with letter A

Apparent (adj.)1. clearly seen or understood; obvious. 2. seeming real, but not necessarily so.

All of our eyeballs have been blurred, leaving our vision tainted.

Perhaps it was the disappointment brought on by the tension of adolescence, or some hidden prejudice inserted into our thinking by well-meaning parents.

It might have been high expectation which was dashed and brought crashing to the earth by the flak of reality.

Somewhere along the line we began looking at the world through clouded lenses of bigoted conclusions.

Therefore what is apparent to one person is not equally as apparent to another. Matter of fact, we’ve developed a whole philosophical approach to the issue, insisting that we’re all quite different, and in our difference we find our “special purpose.”

Yet it doesn’t occur to us that if we all have different views of what is necessary, beautiful and spiritual, we’re more likely to collide into each other in the dark than to embrace each other in the light.

I do think it’s important that we come to some common ground on what is apparent, and even if we don’t completely understand it, submit to the wisdom of some very essential precepts:

1. We are not here alone.

In other words, we cannot live our lives as if there are no other human beings, and trying to pursue our goals without a belief in a Creator can be more frustrating than enriching.

2. The truth will make you free.

Lying is a detour which takes you through town, past the beautiful houses, but always ends up at the city dump. No one ever gets away with lying–and truthfully, the longer the deceit is disguised, the worse the retribution.

3. Miracles are God’s business, but talent is mine.

There is no replacement for ability applied with hard work. Those who peddle shortcuts, easy diet plans and get-rich schemes may be the closest thing we will ever see to flesh-and-blood satans.

There are things which are apparent. If we agree, we can begin to pull together instead of pushing and shoving each other. But to get this done, we must stop believing that the Earth is a series of human islands instead of a continent of brothers and sisters.

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Ambiguity

dictionary with letter A

Ambiguity: (n) uncertainty or inexactness of meaning in language

Shouldn’t that be the United States of Ambiguity?

It is now a national pastime–maybe better phrased, our universal slogan. In the pursuit of finding safe language that is not offensive to anyone, we have come up with sentences filled with nouns, but absent verbs.

Politicians stand in front of audiences and list all the types of people they want to appeal to, but never come up with an action word to describe what they intend to do for these hordes of admirers.

Churches have fallen back on becoming more traditional and symbolic in their presentation of spirituality, for fear of offending those who want to have religion minus personal intervention.

And entertainment is always consulting focus groups to ensure that the material provided will garner the widest appeal to sell tickets, t-shirts and DVDs.

It’s all very interesting. And it’s all the process of taking political correctness to a new position: emotional stall.

We’re just stalled. We don’t know what to do, so we attempt to accept everything in part, without signing on the dotted line.

So in a world that prides itself on caution, the next heroes and victors will be daredevils.

The genius of the future will be the explorer who is not afraid to have an opinion and see it through to some sort of conclusion.

Ambiguity is ambiguous.

I know that’s not very articulate, but it says it very well, don’t you think? And it is absent the ambiguity of trying to find a way to describe ambiguity without offending anyone, while possibly causing the hearer to express some interest.

Here are three thoughts I share without reservation–or ambiguity:

  1. America is not exceptional in the eyes of God, but has an exceptional opportunity to do something in this day and hour which could ring true for a thousand years to come.
  2. People are not born any specific way–otherwise, God would have favorites and free will would be a joke.
  3. There is no replacement for hard work and taking personal responsibility for your own life.

You can see, these are thoughts that have both nouns and verbs. They contain very little ambiguity, and therefore open the door to discussion, debate … and hopefully some progress.

Adopt

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adopt: (v) to legally take another’s child and bring it up as one’s own

I think the definition for success is something that catches our fancy that we’re still willing to do when it ends up being more difficult than we thought.

About seventeen years ago, I decided to take three young boys into my home. Their mother had just gone through a very hostile divorce and the fellows were a little shell-shocked by the whole experience. Fortunately for me, I had a son of my own who was about the same age as the middle child in the trio. It made for a nice situation and seemed quite logical.

I will tell you that logic is what fools refer to as tribulation when they discover there’s hard work ahead. Yes–NOTHING is easy. It’s not meant to be. Matter of fact, adopting anything immediately demands that you use another similar word: adapt.

I learned a long time ago that just because I want to do something is reason enough for everybody in the world to come against it. After I had my motives questioned, my sanity perused and got accused by some of the family members of the mother of being a “cult leader,” I realized that merely trying to pursue generosity makes cautious people get pissed off.

I had to adapt. I had to learn that I was getting to know these young men slowly and needed to gain their respect by being honest and forthcoming.

And the truth of the matter is, if you adopt something and you’re willing to adapt, after a time you will become more adept.

Yes, I got better at being a father.

I am grateful that I ended up with seven opportunities to do so–because in many ways, I think I needed them all.

In the late eighteenth century, when our country adopted a Constitution, we had no idea what trouble we would cause for ourselves. We are still adapting, with the prospect of becoming adept looming in the distance.

Don’t get discouraged. It gets better as long as you don’t give up on the purity–and the joy–of the original decision.