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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Beetle

Beetle: (n) an insect of an order distinguished by forewingsDictionary B

It’s a language which I have affectionately, but sarcastically, dubbed “Marjorian.”

It was named in honor of a woman I once knew named Marjory.

Marjory had developed a way of speaking in which she would address any problem that ended up falling in her front yard with very gentle language, while summarizing the actions of others she did not like with more sinister terms.

Let me give you an example.

When Marjory’s daughter became pregnant in high school, she insisted they had planned on having the young girl marry her beau, but the pavilion they wanted to use was not available, so normally the pregnancy would have fallen after the marriage, but preceded it only because of a scheduling conflict.

Yet when the young girl next door found herself with an unwanted pregnancy at age seventeen, Marjory whispered to the neighbors that “the lass was a tramp” and that such declining morals were ruining our country.

She spoke Marjorian–a language generous to oneself while condemning to others.

I bring this up because one day I was sitting in Marjory’s home and a bug crawled across the floor. Instinctively I leaped to my feet and crushed it with my foot. I knew the insect to be a roach. When I identified the bug to Marjory, she immediately disagreed and said, “No, no. That’s a beetle.”

Apparently it was completely respectable to have a beetle crawl across your floor but not a roach.

Being in a playful mood, I picked up the remains of the bug and carried it over to Marjory, causing her to launch into a hissy fit.

I put it toward her face, showing her that this bug had no wings, and was therefore not a beetle.

Without missing a beat, Marjory countered by saying that “it was a Japanese beetle. They don’t have wings.”

I immediately realized that Marjory had no idea of the flight habits of the Japanese beetle. But it was not worth arguing about, so I tossed the carcass into the garbage can, finished my conversation and coffee and was on my way.

I have met many people who have their own dialect of “Marjorian” language, but it always amazes me that after all the claims are made, all the exaggerations espoused and all the false belief preached, that somehow or another… the truth still has a way of winning the day.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Abate

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbate: v. 1. become less intense or widespread: the storm suddenly abated. 2. cause to become smaller or less intense: nothing abated his crusading zeal

My parents certainly wanted to abate long hair and rock and roll. Facts are, they are dead and the Stones keep rolling–and the world is a’Gaga.

And the North wanted to abate slavery in the Southern plantations. It took a bloody Civil War but now black folks are allowed to vote at large instead of “tote that barge.”

It seems like every day of the week somebody wants to abate something. But here’s a clue: if you don’t have the right “a-bate,” you’re not going to get what you’re fishin’ for.

After having traveled this planet for some time, I have boiled it down to discover that if you want to be on the right side of history and end up looking smart later on instead of like a dumb old fogey, there are only two things you need to stand against and abate: killing and judging.

My experience is that everyone who has encouraged the death of anything has ended up looking like they brought chips and dip to a formal dinner party. Likewise, every individual who has tried to alienate one group, or place their clique above another, has gone down in the history books as foolish and bull-headed.

So I will tell you that I am for abating killing and judging. And because that’s too general, I will get more specific and talk to you about the promoters that put these two nasty boogers into business.

  • What causes killing is weapons.
  • And what promotes judging is prejudice.

Now, I don’t care if the weapon is an assault rifle or a scalpel held by a doctor in an abortion clinic. It could be a lethal injection on death row or people who just don’t have any sense of humor and murder all the good cheer in a room. It is the responsible use of weapons that causes us to put killing in a position where it is not only the last resort but even at that ugly hour, is reconsidered one more time in the pursuit of mercy.

And it is the removal of any notion that one human being is better than another that cripples judging–stifling prejudice.

You’ve got to be careful what you abate. You can lose an awful lot of good music and eliminate a whole race of people. But if you abate killing and judging, you’ll find yourself with an excellent mention in the history books and I believe, a pat on the head from the Almighty.

Let’s get sensible about weapons and let’s curtail our prejudice.