Clap: (v) to applaud

I have spent much of my human journey with two little toes in heaven and the rest of my footage on Earth.

Those two little toes did not go to market. They went to church.

It’s where I sang my first song.

It’s where I met my first girlfriend.

And it’s still one of my favorite spots for spontaneous dozing.

One of the things I discovered about the experience of “church attendance ” is that there is a wide range of opinions on many subjects.

Clapping would be one.

Some churches believe it’s sacrilegious to express appreciation, worship or excitement by striking palms. They find it Biblically and spiritually unsound.

Other churches clap so much that you can’t hear anything else going on. They clap for everything. It’s kind of a “clapping without ceasing.”

As a person who shares his talent in a church, I have to admit to myself that I am also a performer and an artist. (Although I think the word “artist” is overused–even by me.)

As a performer, I do have an ego. Ego is not a bad thing–it’s that little “Nancy-cheerleader” who keeps us from jumping off a cliff just because we had a bad day. (“It might get better tomorrow. Yea, team!”)

When you perform a song, come to the end, and receive silence, it is not golden.

It’s rather moldy.



I’m told I’m supposed to sing to the glory of God. But it was God who said, “Clap your hands, all ye people.”

If you’re afraid I’ll get the big-head if you applaud my efforts, then you should pray for me. Don’t snub me.

Until we understand that the Universe pushes energy one direction and there is supposed to be a push coming back from the other way, or else something is afoul, we may just continue to believe that God is so insecure that He is frustrated with anyone else receiving adequate appreciation for his efforts.

Since I wouldn’t even have lunch with someone who’s cantankerous, I choose to believe that when I perform, God applauds, the angels screech…and the congregation should follow suit.

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Chronological: (adj) description of event in order

As long as you’re alive, you can keep the chronological events of your journey in order–even when people insist “you misremembered.” (One of the additional drawbacks to dying is that you’re suddenly at the mercy of someone else’s chronological breakdown of your life.)

Chronological is essential because it tells us if we’re actually making progress, or if we keep backsliding to our forward progress. Without this knowledge, we can either become discouraged because of a lack of direction, or elated over a false promotion of actual events.

Please keep in mind that one hundred and fifty-four years ago, the slaves were freed. Yet even this week in America, we’re still discussing racism as if we’ve just driven into town from the plantation. Studying the chronological order of civil rights in America would do a lot for our understanding of what yet needs to be done.

Perceiving the chronological order of advances in the medical field instead of worshipping the hype of “doctor promotion” would certain guide us on where to place our money for more research.

Knowing that B should follow A before C intrudes is how we keep good sense and wisdom in our lives.

So “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” is a valid question.

And knowing what you were doing last year at this time and comparing it to where you are now in your chronological clock is just downright saintly.


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Chock-full: (adj) filled to overflowing

I ended up being a father to many sons. This doesn’t qualify me as an expert, but eventually it rescued me from the dangerous status of novice.

You can always pick out a newbie in the realm of parenting. Mother and father are always overly concerned about how the little one is
thinking or feeling.

Realize this: they haven’t lived long enough to create stable emotions. They drift from one shoreline of expression to another without any sense of meaning, trying to convince you that they are permanently scarred by the most recent disciplinary action.

Often, it was my job to take these children on trips–long ones, at that.

After surviving one car tour from hell, I realized that the key to a pleasant experience with children in a car is to either drug them with cough syrup, so they sleep (which I unfortunately found out was illegal) or chock-full the trip with a whole series of activities which wear them out, causing them to beg for a nap.

Once asleep, children in a car are unlikely to awaken for many hours. Matter of fact, you probably will have arrived at your motel, unpacked your suitcase, turned on the television set before it becomes necessary to carry them in.

If you wait too long, children will tell you they’re bored. At that point, you are at the mercy of their mood.

But if you plan activities, games, music, a stop at a rest area to investigate the squirrel in the tree on the left, creating an agenda chock-full of exhausting possibilities, you will be able to enjoy at least half of your journey with them lying in the back seat–nearly comatose.


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Chicanery: (n) the use of trickery

I keep finding closets.

Little tiny storage places inside my soul where I’ve tucked away mistakes, vices and little lies–so therefore I don’t feel the need to confess

I was struck recently by the fact that a lie is the absence of the truth, or an evasion. That’s tricky business.

As I’ve traveled across the country putting together press releases, I have adopted some “promo talk.”

What is promo talk?

It is the truth being adorned by a very attractive, but sometimes flamboyant hat.

It is a face which is beginning to wrinkle, disguised by heavy makeup.

It is that little piece of elaboration that makes a story seem more powerful, but may not exactly be the completely factual.

Even though this kind of promo talk is considered normal human banter, it has begun to bother me.

Because once you join into the practice of chicanery–the pursuit of deception–it is very difficult to insist that your chicanery is better than other chicanery.

It’s not so much that the truth is hard to tell; it’s just that the truth just never makes us look as good as we want to look.

If we will cure ourselves of the ridiculous notion that status can be acquired through lies, and we cease to be ashamed of our own journey, we can become liberated from the need to expand our story, in order to impress.


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Burger: (n) short for hamburger

Everybody’s looking for good.

But somewhere on that journey, a conflict arises between the idea of what is good and what tastes good.

Trying to apply angelic mannerisms to the human being is not only a fruitless task, but might fall into the definition of cruel and unusual punishment.

We are people. We are always looking for new ways to pleasure ourselves.

Even though our poets and theologians may suggest a different path, we smile at them as we quickly pass by on our way to pick up another deliciously greasy hamburger. Sometimes we’re willing to make it a turkey burger, but we’re never willing to make it a non-burger.

I think you have to consider where money is best spent. You could put your finance into training human beings into eating five servings of vegetables a day with very few carbs and little meat. But might it be better to accept the fact that we are burger-addicted, and work on a sandwich that tastes great and has few to no calories, so as to appease the need for flavor while still making us look good?

Let’s refer to it as the “Viagra of nutrition.”

If we swallow this pill or eat this particular burger, it will satisfy our need to be naughty without destroying our cardiovascular system.

Doesn’t that seem like a good expenditure of resource?

After all, have attempts at self-discipline in the human family ever done anything but create tension, self-doubt and furious outbursts of rage?

Burgers are not going away. Actually, we are finding that people go away before burgers do. So since they aren’t going away, why don’t we work on making them less harmful?

And while we’re at it, do the same thing with politics, religion and guns.


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Blew: (v) past tense of blow

Dictionary BThere is great human wisdom in refusing to allow others to rob us of our moment of honesty.

If they need to extract the truth from us, we will lose all the brownie points from uttering it.

If we’re at the mercy of the scrutiny of critics, we will suddenly find ourselves living in a society in which critics have as much prominence as those who create.

The most powerful statement I will ever make in my life is, “I blew it”–especially if I’m able to squeeze in that confession before others leap upon my carcass.

Matter of fact, let’s look at the conjugation of this process:

  • I blow things.
  • I blew this.
  • It is blown.

A delightful process.

First of all, to have the courtesy to warn people that we are capable of blowing it.

Then to inform the tourists that the journey will be interrupted by the fact that we blew it.

And finally, to have that intelligence to know that something is blown and beyond repair, instead of reaching for the duct tape.

It’s inevitable.

I will need to admit that I blew it so I will not continue to chase the tail of what ends up being a dead dog.

Therefore, be careful.

When you think something is going to be a breeze, you are more likely to “blow it.”

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Bellow: (v) to emit a deep loud roar, typically in pain or anger.

Dictionary B

I do not really want to hear what you have to say about how you hear what I have to say.

That’s the truth.

All my ways seem right to me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do them because then I would have to admit I was wrong. That also can be very painful.

But somewhere along this journey we call life, we have to realize that we are not alone and our opinions not only fail to be superior, but in many cases, are insignificant.

I may have a conversation with my children, my friends or my partners in business and feel that I have a completely rational tone, filled with reasonable proposals. Yet if I asked them what they are hearing, they will explain that they feel intimidated, criticized and even might perceive my approach to be “bellowing.”

In response to their accusations, I bellow, “I am not bellowing!”

I’m not so sure what ultimate maturity is supposed to look like. I’m not positive that I understand all aspects of human relationships, or even could write a decent pamphlet on the subject.

But I know this:

If another human being tells me that they hear me bellowing at them, attacking them or expressing displeasure in their direction, the only way to ever maintain that friendship is to listen to what they are proposing … and at least consider that the volume coming back my way is much less than what they’re hearing.


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