Compliant

Compliant: (adj) inclined to agree with others or obey rules

Historically, it’s been proven that the rule is golden.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

You can actually judge the sanity of our planet and the people who inhabit it by whether they consider this rule to be essential and have chosen to be compliant to it; or if they have concluded that it’s a whimsical idea of a Nazarene poet who didn’t live in dangerous times, and therefore could postulate on peaceful coexistence.

Yes–when you see society begin to ignore, set aside or even mock the Golden Rule and take a non-compliant position, you realize how desperately we’ve slipped from the only strand of rope that can save us from stumbling off the cliff of common sense into our own free fall to insanity.

 

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Cherry-Pick

Cherry-pick: (v) to selectively choose (the most beneficial items) from what is available.

Living in an era when social slop is often offered as emotional cuisine, it is sometimes difficult to ascertain the bad from the good and call it ugly.

Matter of fact, upon reading the word “cherry-pick” this morning, a negative feeling came over me–images of prissy people sitting around
choosing their favorites based upon preference in design and structure.

People often say that I cherry-pick my political views, missions and certainly my spirituality. So to those critics, let me say with full-throated confidence:

You are right.

I have no idea if what I believe about government would actually work, but in my mind it is certainly preferable to the “dance of the dunce” that we presently parade in Washington, D.C.

I don’t know if I am any kind of expert on television, movies and entertainment–I just know that I don’t like anything that doesn’t both entertain and inspire me.

And I certainly cannot contend that the Gospel I believe in is completely in line with the one that was in the mind of the Nazarene who strolled the Earth in loincloth so many centuries ago. But after many years of living, I believe it is still the good news that actually functions in the hearts of all cultures.

It is time we begin to cherry-pick:

Start liking movies for their content instead of who stars in them or who directs them.

Begin to believe in ideas, not because 25,000 people gather to cheer them on, but because they are full of mercy and grace.

Listen to music that stuns our consciousness with an immersion of human awareness instead of merely demonstrating the height and breadth of technology.

I am a cherry-picker–and because of that, I have found my life to be fruitful.

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Broad

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Broad: (adj) an ample distance from side to side; wide.

We are a peculiar people.Dictionary B

Every July 3rd in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, we commemorate Pickett’s Charge, where thousands of Southern gentlemen attacked a wall of cannon at the bequest of an aging general who was in the midst of having a minor heart attack due to the summer’s heat.

But for some reason we call that brave.

We paint the picture of humanity with broad strokes.

We weep over acts of patriotism or occasions in which hundreds of thousands of us merge into a common trough.

But I am personally stalled by the warning from a Nazarene from two thousand years ago, who stated, “Broad is the way to destruction.”

It is shoulder-to-shoulder that we march to hell–unaware of our destination, but satisfied that we are right…because we are not alone.

What foolishness.

The best decisions of my life always happen absent human hovering.

When I’m on the “strait and narrow” of my passion, angels of authenticity are prompted to whisper in my ear.

If not, I am inundated by the bad breath of baffled Bohemians.

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Bogus

Bogus: (adj) not genuine or true; fake.

Dictionary B

Although I’m sure the word “bogus” has not been used by anybody since Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure finished playing at dollar theaters, I must say that the definition and the concept is rather important, and certainly would be enlightening for our times.

Somewhere along the line, or absent a line, we have begun to believe that real life has to be replaced by the exposure of reality.

So if a television show is done about a preacher and his family, we don’t focus on the good deeds, but rather, the conflicts that often arise in their character, which contradict their Biblical nature and expose their human foibles.

We are fascinated with failure.

Pointing at bad people does make us feel good. Therefore, symbolism is preferred to experience.

Whether it’s politics–where we have an Electoral College with a confounding number of votes to select our next leader; or the College Football Playoff, with a coalition of experts to muse over the manly efforts of the varying teams; or a church, where we replace the message of the Nazarene with bread and wine as a token of his life, it is bogus.

But like I said, since that word is outdated, we will just have to find another way to describe a season where illegitimacy is honored–because to revere the legitimate might leave us all convicted of our lack.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Aqueduct

dictionary with letter A

Aqueduct: (n) an artificial channel containing water.

The Romans built them. They were very proud of it.

Matter of fact, it’s what the Romans did best. (Not build aqueducts–be prideful.)

They felt like they were bringing civilization to the world, and it really angered them when the world didn’t grovel in appreciation.

Matter of fact, when I was researching a novel and I began to study the life and times of Pontius Pilate, what I uncovered was a frustrated Epicurean aristocrat who was always aggravated about the Jewish peasants around him and how they failed to appreciate the sophistication that the Empire’s culture proffered.

He was particularly perturbed with their indifference toward the aqueducts he built in Jerusalem, circa 25 A.D. Of course, back then nobody knew it was A.D. because a young preacher from Nazareth had not yet circulated among the masses, changing the historical timetable.

What this Nazarene stumbled into was an ongoing tiff between the zealous Zionists and pompous Pontius. He continued to be the self-reliant governor of Judea, appointed by Caesar, and they, the self-righteous children of Israel, allegedly ordained by God.

Something had to give.

There was an ugly chasm between them. And as Pilate promoted the glory of his aqueducts, many of the Jews refused to use the water because it was provided by the “dog gentiles.”

In walks Jesus.

He had the misfortune of teaching love for mankind in the midst of a quarrel over water distribution. so when the Jews decided to arrest him and bring him in front of Pontius Pilate, the tension in the air was already thick due to the misunderstanding about aqueducts.

Yes, it is very possible that Jesus was crucified … because Pontius Pilate had grown weary of water issues.

 

 

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Aorta

dictionary with letter A

Aorta: (n) the main artery of the body, supplying oxygenated blood to the circulatory system.

“Take no thought.”

It was an admonition from a Nazarene-carpenter-turned-itinerant-preacher many centuries ago. He contended it was good to not think about things we cannot change. It was not approval for lethargy or indifference, but a warning that the same fussiness that causes us to be concerned about our lacking is the thief that quickly steals them from us.

That’s the way I feel about the word aorta. I need to not think about it too often.

Realizing that my life is at the mercy of a small clump of skin and blood vessel which has been given a job of carrying my lifeline of survival is just about enough to drive me crazy.

I know I have a heart–I mean, a physical one. But the best way for me to maintain my emotional and spiritual heart is to not spend too much time studying or considering my physical one. Does that make sense?

We are frighteningly fragile, and but can on occasion fall a hundred feet from a cliff, bounce and rise to our feet. I do not know how it works.

Yet I am very disconcerted by a report given from a coroner which says, “Well, all I can tell you is that his aorta just wore out.” They shouldn’t do that.

I remember when I was a little kid, I watched a show on television where someone died from swallowing his tongue. Even though that seemed implausible to me, I spent the entire night wide awake, pinning my tongue to my cheek with my teeth.

Maybe I’m a little bit weird, but I think some things are better left to be studied in the halls of academia, tested on and practiced in theory rather than discussed in great detail.

I have an aorta … but I would rather not talk about him.

 

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Antakya

dictionary with letter A

Antakya: Turkish name for Antioch.

Antioch.

The Good Book tells us that Antioch was the first city where people were referred to as Christians.

The fledgling movement that continued to adhere to the teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth was struggling to find an identity.

Rejected by Judaism, much too simplistic for the Greek philosophers and comically peaceful for the raging Romans, these followers of the Nazarene were literally a people with no country.

So when they were ridiculed in Antioch for having no personal identity or unique awareness of themselves, but instead being “little christs,” rather than taking hubris to the accusation, they decided to adopt it as the namesake of their cause.

It has endured for two thousand years.

And even though nowadays the term “Christian” doesn’t mean much, it still lets us know that Jesus is in there somewhere.

Although I would welcome a new term and have adopted the word “Jesonian” to represent my appreciation for the universal concepts of the Carpenter-turned-community-organizer, I am still in awe of how these simple, gentle folk in Antioch decided to embrace a criticism and make it their own instead of bristling and demanding equal rights and respect.

Yes, the name itself is really the personification of the enduring belief. And that belief is this:

If you love yourself and you love people, eventually, after all the insanity has quieted down, you will have a voice.

 

 

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