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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Cheat

Cheat: (v) to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage

Some people compare the human brain to a computer.

There may be truth to that–though the brain is capable of much more reasoning and processing.

But one of the similarities that would hold true is that the brain does maintain a browser. It has a listing of most recent files, frequently viewed files, and even files we think we’ve deleted.

Every once in a while, they’ll just pop up and remind us that the mind doesn’t always find ways to be kind.

It’s a little piece of nastiness.

So it runs a tally.

How many murders have we watched in television and movies over the past six months?

How many shows on the beauty of Antarctica and gorgeous flower displays from India?

How many scenes of pornography and the abuse of the female body have crossed our eyes in comparision to the downloads we have perused of mothers loving their children and women conquering prejudice, to be successful in business?

Because our browser is filled with corruption, we cheat.

  • We cheat on our taxes.
  • We cheat on our lovers.
  • We cheat ourselves out of blessing because cursing is so easily available.
  • We cheat our children out of intimacy in favor of a quick trip to the amusement park.
  • We cheat our talent out of the privilege of being used in a creative way while constantly bitching about the limitations of our job.

We cheat.

And then, fearing that we will be revealed as cheaters, we develop a honeycomb of intertwined lies, which now buzz from our lips with far too much glib precision.

Where will our cheating take us?

Well, we certainly don’t think anybody is going to be better than us, so it turns us into suspicious, angry and vindictive neighbors.

We cheat.

Mostly, we cheat ourselves.

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Cellulite

Cellulite: (n) persistent subcutaneous fat causing dimpling of the skin

If it’s got your thoughts, it’s got your soul.

I just find this to be true.

What corrals my attention, stimulates my brain and makes me contemplate pretty much sets the agenda for my entire human experience.

With that in mind, I am very careful not to focus on anything that has to do with the flesh and pretend that it has any worthy emotional or spiritual implications.

Women have cellulite. Men have cellulite. You can feel free to attempt some simple exercise or treatment to get rid of it.

But if you find yourself going on a trip to the beach wearing sweat pants, talking to everyone on the journey about your cellulite, frightened to death to expose your legs, then you’re in the middle of what I would refer to as a “self damnation.” Simply defined, this is a curse each one of us places on ourselves to forbid us from heavenly conclusions because of our hellish fear or lack.

At no time whatsoever during a romantic encounter does it matter one little bit if a man or woman has cellulite. It only matters if you’re watching them from a distance, determining whether they would be worthy of such intimacy.

But you must understand that anyone who has worked hard enough to not have cellulite may just be as demanding of the partner they select.

 

 

 

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Beguile

Beguile: (v) to charm or enchant, sometimes in a deceptive way.

Dictionary B

Subtlety seems to have been abandoned by our generation, which runs away from cleverness like teenagers escaping the responsibility of a joyride.

We just don’t understand that brashness is no replacement for cajoling.

So boldly, we strike out with our opinions, and are somewhat astounded that others do not find them endearing or enlightening. So then it becomes necessary for us to attack these unbelievers with further brash retorts, comments and tweets.

Even though the word “beguile” has a dark tinge to it, the human race has never been brought to its senses by direct confrontation or merely the presentation of knowledge.

We need truth to flirt with us.

We need to be romanced into the discovery of goodness.

We need the chilling sensation of the first date to gain first insight.

Without this, we become commonplace, boring and eventually, stubborn.

Yes, if I were to describe the worst condition of humanity, it would be the sedimentary accumulation of beliefs which neither bring passion nor innovation.

Come, Spirit of God.

Beguile me with your creativity.

Entice me to yearn for the intimacy of a good idea.

And make me hunger and thirst … for righteousness.

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Anecdote

dictionary with letter A

Anecdote: (n) a short and amusing or interesting tale about a real person or incident.

There are things that are true–yet truth has a responsibility to stay contemporary.

What I mean is that simply because something was true in a certain way a hundred years ago does not mean it can be heard as truth in our present society by pursuing the same method.

For instance, people used to tell stories.

Back before radio, television, Internet and downloads, the bearer of news relied on speech instead of Podcasts.

Folks actually sat around a fire for hours, spinning one yarn after another, giving examples, and in the process, created both understanding and fellowship with one another.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to get nostalgic. I’m perfectly satisfied living in a world where the anecdote has been set aside, or only applied as a means of an opening monologue for a Rotary Club speaker.

But in the pursuit of truth, we have to learn how to take the better parts of the past and mingle them with the new awakening. The only danger, of course, is losing the intimacy once possessed between human beings, and ending up with phones that have their own “I”-dentity and think they’re “smarter” than us.

So what should we do?

I think it’s the responsibility of the creative people in every generation to keep the warmth of great ideas and heat them up on the burners of our time.

It’s one of the reasons I write this essay. I can take words, insert my anecdotes on subjects a bit beyond the realm of my true perception, and therefore interact with you blessed people.

So the next time you come across some grandfatherly individual who begins his conversation with, “It reminds me of the time when I was a young man…”–instead of rolling your eyes and quietly texting under the table, find an ingenious way to come up with two questions to ask him about his experience, and see if it doesn’t change a mere story … into an encounter.

 

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Affectionate

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Affectionate: (adj.) readily feeling or showing fondness or tenderness: e.g. a happy and affectionate family.

You gotta BE there.

It’s true, you know. There are some things in life that cannot be viewed, read, perused, discussed, debated or downloaded.

Affection is one of them.

In a climate where “lukewarm” has begun to feel “heated,” we lack such closeness and intimacy that it has caused us to become defensive with one another because we privately feel cheated of the tenderness we need to satisfy our souls, yet at the same time we push away personal overtures from those who try to get too close too quickly.

A lady warned me the other day, saying, “Watch out! I’m a hugger.”

I do remember attending a rock concert many years ago where complete strangers–thousands of them–came up to each other, hugging in groups of five and ten without explanation or apology. Yet to promote such an idea in our day and age would be cynically mocked as a “hippie philosophy,” a throw-back to olden times or impractical due to the spread of disease.

This culminated for me when I saw churches offering hand sanitizer to folks after they had the “passing of the peace.” I wish I had a profanity to express how upsetting that is to me. And please, spare me the explanation on why it is needed. I am fed up with the notion of what is needful and anxious for the pursuit of what is helpful.

  • I need affection.
  • I need to be affectionate.

Now, it doesn’t have to always be demonstrative, but it does have to be spontaneous and real. It can be reaching across a table and cutting up the banana of a friend who is making you coffee, or coring an apple for another friend so she doesn’t have to deal with stems and seeds.

When you lose affection in a society, you promote the idea of isolation. Once humans are isolated, there’s only one thing that takes hold–survival.

Is it possible that in the next decade we will begin to treat each other–all the time–like we do when we’re in a traffic jam?

Adultery

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAdultery: n) voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

Yeah. That should handle it–similar to attempting to conserve oxygen by asking people to hold their breath.

Sex is not optional. It is essential to the human being–not because of the physical release, nor merely because of the intimacy. It is the blending of playfulness with a demand to confirm that we are attractive.

Thus, the reason why the practice becomes common and often distasteful in elongated relationships. Very simply, we remove the danger. We take away the lust and replace it with undying love. And true enough, maybe the love doesn’t die, but all the parts around it do.

Adultery will continue to be popular because people will flirt, and in the process of doing so, will discover they are attractive and instinctively follow up on that, even though later on they may feel guilty or find themselves in divorce court.

What we should be doing is holding seminars on how men and women can get along, be playful, flirt, and even agree to withhold sexual intercourse in order to enhance the spiciness of it instead of continually promoting the idea that the sexes are destructive to one another, suffering from irreconcilable differences.

I get tired of the word “unfaithful.” If we really think that faith is something we can possess without the evidence of works to follow, we are in “dreamy land” and are expressing an erroneous psychology instead of truly understanding human beings.

We lose interest because we’ve stopped being playful, removed the danger, ceased flirting and have passed on the impression that we’re “not quite as hot for each other.”

After all, there’s no such thing as having sex. It’s an awkward, stumbling, childish, foolish, clumsy, delightful, adolescent, jubilant, silly explosion–an accidental decision leading us to roll over on our backs, thinking: “I wonder if I should have done that.”

There’s no reason you can’t keep those elements in a marriage, as long as both parties understand that remaining appealing to one another is not just primping the outer features, but also constantly evolving the inner self.

I think using the term “adultery” is Old Testament. It’s really a fling. Sometimes we try to justify it; most of the time we avoid it.

But no one will be honest enough to say that adultery is inevitable if we allow the communication between each other to come only in one flavor … vanilla.