Dazzling

Dazzling: (adj) something or someone who impresses deeply; astonishes with delight:

Imagine there are two meters.

One meter measures evil; another, good.

With me so far?

As you look at these meters, you notice there are settings.

On the Evil Meter, there is a top range of really, really bad—and a bottom range of “forgivable.”

On the Good Meter, there’s a top range which is “miraculous,” and on the bottom, “considerate.”

Now.

Is it possible for you and I to understand that how we set these meters depends on how well we get along with other people, and also our outlook about life on Earth?

If I set my Evil Meter too hot, I will find many things distasteful and ungodly, and end up coming across like a judgmental fool.

And if I set my Good Meter to only accept miracles that come from the Throne of God as being the definition of good, I will ignore many kindnesses that pop up in front of my eyes.

It is important that at the end of the day, if asked by our friends and relatives, “And how did you fare?” that we come back with that glorious word:

Dazzling.

To find our journey dazzling, we must calm down our Evil Meter and turn up our Good Meter.

We must be much more likely to find possibilities and blessings than we are to dig up fire and brimstone.

Of course, we’ll be accused by those who are very religious of being liberal, foolish or too easy to satisfy—but these are not the folks we’re out to impress.

We are working and discovering how to find a life that pleases us, pleases others …

And therefore pleases God, Himself.

Davie

Davie: (n) a town in SE Florida.

I have a unique perspective on Davie, Florida.

After years of traveling on the road and performing, I decided to settle there because it was near where my son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters lived.

They had just begun a church and I thought it would be so terrific if I could join them and help out in any way my box of experience might afford.

You see:

The key to that phrase is “I thought.”

You would assume that after many years of living, I would realize the weakness—and sometimes even complete calamity—of the words “I thought.”

I never asked my son and his family what they felt about me moving down there.

I didn’t seek permission.

I envisioned something in my own mind—how things might pan out without ever realizing that those around me might not consider my gift of time with them to be of as much interest as I had supposed.

It went poorly.

When I tried to be involved, I seemed nosy.

When I backed off, I appeared offended (though I wasn’t).

When I waited for them to contact me, I was pissed at the infrequency.

And when I tried to start other things on my own, they were somewhat threatened by my intentions.

Along with this colossal misunderstanding, I ended up living in a very small home—well beneath my needs, not to mention my standards.

Although I can recite many miraculous things that occurred during my stay in Davie, Florida, whenever I hear the word “Davie,” what comes to my mind is:

“It’s better to move when you feel a tug…”

“…than trying to shove your way in.”

 

Crimp

Crimp: (v) to check, restrain, or inhibit; hinder

Crimper.

Crimping.

Crimped.

The average person spends an awful lot of their waking hours trying to recover from feeling crimped.

Here’s how it works:

Arriving at the parking lot for work, you’re about to pull into the space when someone pulls in right before you. This is the crimper. He is crimping you. But you do not understand that he is doing this because yesterday the same thing happened to him and he ended up crimped.

Now, he stored up that frowning crimped position, and when the opportunity arrived on this day, he decided to turn into the crimper, so that he would not be the victim of crimping and end up crimped again.

As you can well imagine, this can start out small but end up with world powers possessing nuclear weapons which can destroy the Earth many times over.

Yes, even world leaders can turn into crimpers who are crimping one another, and one of them who is crimped has had his or her fill of it and does some button pushing. So this weary, frustrated victim decides to turn himself into a crimper and leave our beautiful Earth crumped.

This is not only plausible—it is unfortunately likely. What must we do to escape such a great demolition? Here’s an idea:

On your way to work, stop and make your peace with the possibilities.

Evaluate them. Example:

“If I actually find a great parking place, it would be miraculous. If I found a good parking place, it still would be outstanding. If I find a parking place and someone steals it from me, my best way of getting even is to pretend I didn’t even notice. But rather than becoming a victim of crimping, I will take the time to drive around the parking lot twice. First, to make sure I don’t feel crimped and secondly, just maybe a parking spot will come open even closer than the one I wanted. And the guy or gal who stole mine will have to walk by me on his or her way into the building.”

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Angle

dictionary with letter A

Angle: (n) the space, usually measured in degrees, between two intersecting lines or surfaces.

In the pursuit of our human journey of discovery, revelation and wonder, there are actually very few dead-end roads.

Yet we all sometimes dramatically feel that we have come to such an impasse–where choices have abandoned us and we are left staring into the Great Abyss. But honestly, most of the time–whether you believe it’s life, luck or God–some road intersects into your possibilities just short of falling off the cliff.

That road, joining up with our present march towards extinction, creates an angle.

What a great word.

Yes–there is always an angle allowing us to escape in the nick of time.

There’s even a verse in the Good Book that reinforces this idea. We are provided “a way of escape”–a road that joins our dismal retreat, allowing us to turn right or left, gaining a new perspective and no longer being on a dead-end street.

I have been part of many failing plans. Yet you don’t make money as a writer, nor gain fans, by discussing your dismal results. People normally like to hear about the successes.

But I’ve never had a success which was not a branch from a road heading toward failure, which granted me a new angle–a fresh perspective and a glorious reprieve from doomed conclusions.

It is too much to ask or demand, that we never have a set-back. Matter of fact, in an attempt to avoid such interruptions, we usually invite the possibility of disaster.

But when you’re on one of those dead-end roads that seems to be going nowhere, start looking for the turnoff … the miraculous intervention of opportunity that gives you an angle for escaping the great leap off the edge. 

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Amphetamine

dictionary with letter A

Amphetamine: (n) a synthetic, mood-altering, addictive drug, used illegally as a stimulant and legally to treat ADD in children and narcolepsy in adults.

Thirty seconds to explain what it does and thirty seconds to scare the crap out of you over the side effects.

That is the construction of the normal commercial on television advertising a new drug.

We need to get away from the concept that drugs are miracles.

Perhaps they are miracles in the sense of describing the Grand Canyon if you’re only viewing it from a safe distance or in some sort of slide show.

But if you’re standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and leaping head-first into the abyss, it loses some of the glow of its “miraculous.” Then it just becomes a bunch of rocks smashing your brains.

Here’s my truth: use as few drugs as possible.

For me, this became fairly complicated when I was diagnosed with diabetes. They recommend you try to keep your blood sugar down through diet and medication. But with this particular condition, the doctors began to introduce other peripheral possibilities which they decided to pre-medicate by giving me additional drugs, which, separate from their helpful tendencies, are basically poison.

Just as ministers want to make you a sinner and politicians want to put you into a voting block, physicians feel useful when they discover ailments in you.

I don’t hold it against them. It’s their profession. After all, in the process of being paranoid, even crazy people avoid obstacles and difficulties.

But drugs are nothing to mess with–especially amphetamines. It is beyond comprehension that we pump our children full of chemicals to get them to be attentive when it used to be handled in the schoolyard at recess by somebody throwing a ball at your head and saying, “Wake up, Billy!”

It’s not that I recommend the crude treatment of children to one another. But I am not convinced that rattling the human body with deadly potions is a better alternative.

I am not an individual who places great faith in holistic medicine.

I am not against prescribing cures for those who are hurting.

It’s just that I think the truly mature human being needs to step back from any diagnosis, and before popping a pill of purpose, ask if there is any other way.

Because when drugs get done with human beings, they mostly addict us and hurt us.

Therefore, we should only welcome them temporarily … and cautiously.

 

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Albuquerque

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Albuquerque: city in central New Mexico on the Rio Grande, pop 448,607. It is the largest city in the state.

A plan is when we attempt to connect two things which seem to be related, but after we’ve made our agenda, they end up surprising us with unknowns.

That’s why we’re so funny. Human beings are determined to put life in order when the experience of living was never meant to be orderly.  It happened to me in California about five years ago.

I needed to get across the country–to Nashville, Tennessee–in about seven days. I decided to schedule some gigs along the way, to break up my journey, meet new people, and of course, cover some expenses. Sitting right along the main route was a town called Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • It was perfectly placed.
  • It was perfectly timed with my driving concept.
  • It was perfect.

What made it even more special was the fact that I quickly discovered someone eager to have me and my traveling buddy come in and put on a show. It was one of those junctures in life that we call “ordained, blessed, miraculous, destined, or unbelievable.”

I was going their way, they were coming my way, things were going to be wonderful, and I would end up with a stop off in Albuquerque with the potential for memorable, if not eternal, consequences.

Arriving at the venue, I did my setup, went backstage to my green room, and emerging at the hour of showtime, discovered there were four people in the audience. Apparently the populace of Albuquerque had not been sufficiently cued in to the amazing nature of this well-conceived plan. So what started out to be an inspiring notion, with earthly possibilities and heavenly overtones, ended up being an evening for six, with clever–though it be awkward–conversation.

Albuquerque taught me a lot.

You can plan until your planning seems to be immaculately conceived by an overshadowing spirit, but when you get down to it, human beings don’t really care about either your organization or even your feelings.

We are selfish–which is no problem at all … as long as we remind ourselves of it.

 

Agape

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgape: (n) Christian love, as distinct from erotic love

I was always told that “agape” was God’s love.

What would that be?

I suppose even if you were an atheist you might like to speculate on what style the mythical figure of God might have when it comes to expressing love.

Of course, it’s popular nowadays to present the love of God as “unconditional.” This might be the same reaction you would receive if you went to a convention of men and asked them if they believed in equal rights for women. The only acceptable answer would be a resounding, “Of course!”

But as often has been expressed through the cliché, “the proof is in the pudding,” it is not what we THINK about love, but how we express it in the moments that are inconvenient that demonstrates its true value. The truth is, no one truly loves me if they allow me to continue destructive behavior which limits my possibilities and jeopardizes my life span.

So does unconditional–or agape–love mean that God smiles on whatever we do and finds some way to adjust His philosophy and Kingdom to our whims? I don’t think even an atheist would contend that such a God would be able to maintain order in His universe under those specifications.

Agape love is set apart as important because it understands weakness, tenderly addresses it, challenges, but never leaves nor forsakes.

That IS quite miraculous.

Normally by the time we are angry at someone, we also have concluded that we are prepared to disassociate from them.

  • Unconditional love is not telling people they are fine the way they are.
  • Unconditional love is sharing your heart with people, expressing your concerns, but remaining.

If we truly taught agape affection, humanity could stop being so defensive, self-protecting, lying and cautious, and begin to believe that nothing can separate them from the tenderness of another.

So I make it clear to the people who I love that I will listen to their dreams and not allow them to stray too far from their aspirations without reminding them of their own hearts. Then, if they don’t want to listen to me, I will settle into a position of presence, without feeling the need to condone.

It IS possible. Until we define unconditional love, we will believe that every time we are challenged, it is rejection.

Rejection does not occur … unless someone stomps away in disapproval.