Corinthians

Corinthians: (n) either of two books of the New Testament, I Corinthians or II Corinthians, written by Paul.

Whenever I talk to young—or just new—writers, I offer a single piece of advice. And it isn’t the classic comment normally passed along, which is, “Write what you know.”

Hell, I write a lot of things I don’t know about.

But you see, the key is—I just told you. I purposely shared that I don’t know anything about the subject; I am merely giving you my reaction.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

What every writer needs to be is painfully honest—about both discovery and ignorance.

If a writer is bruised, he will post paragraphs filled with defensiveness.

If a writer is prideful, his scribblings will be speckled with condescension.

When Paul, the Apostle, who was originally Saul of Tarsus, sat down to write the Corinthians, he allowed himself to don more than one persona.

His feelings got hurt because the Corinthians found a preacher who they liked better than him, so he reminded them, in a very petty way, that he was the one that first brought the Gospel to them.

He tried to deal with a controversy of immoral proportions, which should only be handled on-site in the moment.

And he certainly was wounded and complained about their lack of financial assistance to his wandering mission.

Yes, the books of First and Second Corinthians are a study for any writer in comprehending that some mornings, when you get up on the wrong side of the bed, it’s better to roll back over.

And yet, in the midst of that—even with the upheaval he was feeling in his soul toward these people, he still managed to write one of the most beautiful passages of all time:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels and have not love, I am sounding brass and tinkling cymbal.”

It’s referred to as “the love chapter”—the thirteenth of First Corinthians. It is brimming with humility, passion, wonder and, dare I say, precious honesty.

It is the reason we remember Paul in history as a great teacher of peace instead of a cranky, aging Jew who was having trouble making budget.

“Now abides faith, hope and love…” but as Paul said truthfully, “the greatest of these is love.”


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Backbone

Backbone: (n) the series of vertebrae extending from the skull to the pelvis; the spine.Dictionary B

It is what makes us Homo Erectus, which is really not a dirty term.

It means that we’re able to stand on two feet instead of crawl on four.

The spine itself is pretty important. People find out exactly how valuable when they accidentally break it.

But the term “backbone” is normally used to refer to some gumption that might suddenly come into the average person’s decision to be counted as something other than a sheep.

Matter of fact, I can tell you of a certainty, if you’ve never stood up for something eternal in a roomful of detractors, you’ve probably missed out on a particular portion of human growth that takes you from stooped over to standing tall.

Now, here’s the issue: what causes are worthy of such lonely last stands?

Because truthfully, there are many things that claim to be essential and are later declared either silly or maybe even dangerous.

I’ve always had a simple answer to that question: Anything that stifles joy is evil.

Now, I’m not talking about the maniac who joyfully murders people. I mean the basic units of human joy, which are:

  1. I am happy to be alive.
  2. I am happy you’re alive.
  3. I am happy we share this life together.
  4. I am hoping this happiness will continue.

Every time I’ve run across anyone who has tried to eliminate this glorious possibility, I’ve made a stand.

Many years ago, I wrote a play which included dancing, and I took it to some churches, where great objections were offered due to the fact that these evangelicals deemed choreography to be immoral.

I made a stand against them. I was one fellow in a room of 30 arguers. But I had no doubt.

Dancing brings joy. And “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” And since it appears in the very Bible that most of them thought they were defending, I thought I was on pretty safe turf.

Years passed, and dancing is now included in worship services of every denomination.

What is the new attitude which is stifling joy?

Find it. Get some backbone.

And speak for what will last … instead of being intimidated by what is popular.

 

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Advocate

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Advocate: (n) a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy

I shudder. Honestly, this definition scares me.

  • Publicly supports.
  • Recommends.
  • Cause.

I just look back in history and realize that the vast majority of people who have lived on this planet called Earth have, at least for a season, been advocates of immoral and ridiculous ignorance.

It is so easy to jump on the bandwagon and begin to play out of tune. Why do we DO it?

Maybe a better question is, are there ideas or standards that need to be defended, or, if they really are good ideas and standards, are they going to survive a little critique and analysis without me bullying people into following them?

I don’t know if I’ve met an advocate who I think is actually contributing to the common good.

For instance, I certainly believe we should treat animals with respect and honor their space, but I find those involved in the cause of animal rights to be overwrought and obnoxious.

I also believe in God and the loving mercy He wishes to bestow upon His children, but I find the tedium of religion to be tiresome, burdensome and even vicious in its intent.

I absolutely love my country, but those who are advocates of a political party and beat the drum for votes are not only aggravating, but at whim can shut down the very government they promised to serve.

Maybe our goal should not be to become an advocate, but rather, a billboard–to quietly pursue our dreams and beliefs, demonstrating them through our successes and personalities. Perhaps mankind did not evolve from the monkey, but I will tell you this–like the ape, we are much better at mimicking than we are at taking orders.

We seem to more enjoy looking around and finding things that appeal to us and are beneficial, adding them into our own lifestyle, than we do having someone preach it, teach it or advocate for it.

What would I be willing to publicly state as truth? What would I believe is still going to be around a hundred years after I’m dead, maintaining its validity? Doesn’t that narrow it down?

The only one I’ve come up with is: NoOne is better than anyone else.

I guess if you were pushing me, I would have to say of that assertion and statement that I am an advocate.