Bold: (adj) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

Bold sucks.Dictionary B

Well, perhaps that’s too simply stated.

Maybe I should phrase it this way: where we choose to be bold sucks.

If I were comparing “bold” to moving into a new house, I would parallel it with hanging pictures.

Once you remove all the old paint on the walls, wash them, let them dry, repaint and make sure you’re satisfied with the trim, then you can have the joy of hanging pictures.

But you do not hang pictures on a filthy, paint-peeled wall.

And you do not act bold when what surrounds your boldness fails to confirm it.

There are too many people with opinions who are walking contradictions to their own philosophy. They become hypocrites–not because they’re faulty human beings, but mainly because they insist on being bold about it.

Humility is the joyful wisdom that leaps onto the back of bold…always reminding us that we can be wrong.

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dictionary with letter A

Archangel: (n) an angel of high rank

Gabriel drew the short straw.

God had decided that announcing the birth of the Messiah would have to be prompted by a visitation from an archangel.

Gabriel lost.

It isn’t that the archangels were especially angry about saving mankind–it’s just that trying to tell a fourteen-year-old virgin that she’s pregnant is not exactly the most pleasant task.

Angels are always a little perplexed with humanity anyway. Matter of fact, the only thing an angel and a Homo sapien share in common is free will. And any respectable angel will be quick to tell you that they use their free will much more righteously than earth-bound bipeds.

Gabriel mused. How do you tell a young girl that her life is about to be interrupted in the most inconvenient ways, only to be further dismantled by adventure and mayhem?

It fell Gabriel’s lot.

He spent a few moments alone to make sure he had rid himself of all preconceived ideas and prejudice. He realized that a certain amount of compassion would be necessary to talk to Mary of Nazareth about welcoming a baby which would not be easily explained tor either her betrothed or to her parents, sitting around the dinner table.

In contemplating it, the archangel gained more and more heart and sympathy for the human race:

  • They were certainly more tempted than angels, who spent time surrounded by goodness and mercy.
  • Humans also possessed an emotional explosion not fully comprehended in the heart of the standard celestial inhabitant.
  • And on top of that, Mary was a young girl with dreams which would have to be melted into a divine mission of being the mother of God.

Yes, Gabriel drew the short straw.

The rest of the angels flew away, giggling in delight. But instead of viewing it as a burden, Gabriel took it on as a challenge, which turned into an opportunity.

“Behold, Mary, you are blessed.”

That’s a pretty nice thing to say.

Even though the rest of the message was much more daunting, he felt good about blessing the little lady.

Archangels are the bridge between God and human beings.

Michael, one of the other members of the team, once noted, “We angels have just enough of God to know what we should do, and enough human to sometimes be miserable doing it.”

Maybe that’s true.

But without the archangels, our world would slide into a pit of mediocrity, and nothing of excellence would be achieved.

Time passed (though angels have no watches).

Gabriel sat for a moment, remembering what it was like to speak to Mary. There were many jobs that followed.

He recalled that one of his favorites was whispering into the ear of an artist who was staring at the ceiling, wondering what to do … prompting him to paint God.



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dictionary with letter A

Appreciate (v): 1. to recognize the full worth of. 2. to understand (a situation) fully; recognize the full implications of.

I appreciate life being a blank canvas, allowing me the chance to paint.

I appreciate second chances, which are offered as long as I admit I screwed up the first one.

I appreciate friends who are well-practiced at knowing when to interfere in my life.

I appreciate grace given to me because I have shown mercy.

I appreciate a sense of humor which is able to cover a multitude of stupidities.

I appreciate that I am debtor to others so I don’t become obnoxiously self-sufficient.

I appreciate ignorance so I can value knowledge.

I appreciate the time I’ve been given, never assuming it has to be one minute more.

I appreciate that being wrong is even more powerful than being right, because it gives me the chance to be legitimately humble instead of falsely arrogant.

I appreciate that the rain falls on the earth without my consent, permission or consultation.

I appreciate that there’s something bigger than me so that I learn not to despise small beginnings.

I appreciate appreciation. Without it, I grow too quickly grumpy and old.


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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abode:  1. n. a place of residence, a house or home. 2. a sojourn or a stay

Words can freak people out.

Sometimes that’s the problem with looking things up in the dictionary–you end up thinking that a word like “abode” really sounds cool, so you mistakenly and foolishly try to use it in a sentence in the presence of your friends. So instead of referring to your house or apartment, you mention it in passing as “your abode.” It may seem really hip to do things like this, but you have to weigh the value of intellectual pursuit against the prospect of scaring your friends, making them think you’ve become a terminal nerd who is beyond redemption.

I know there is a common sensibility that the better your vocabulary becomes, the greater your potential for success. But I think there are limits. I think if you start sounding like an eighteenth century poet while you’re ordering your lunch at McDonald’s, you may be the victim of one of the classic turn-offs.

Much as I may not appreciate what I’m about to say, I have to admit it’s true. Some words have retired and are in need of collecting social security–and perhaps have entered the realm of dementia.

Abode is such a word.

If you actually did use the word “abode” in a common, everyday sentence, people would think you were either a smart-ass or that you were on the verge of becoming an interior decorator. Don’t ask me what that means. I just know it isn’t particularly good for your social interaction. So the next time you’re tempted to say “abode” instead of “house,” just remember that others who have selected that profile have ended up very alone … pretending that they enjoy reading Robert Louis Stevenson novels.