Charismatic

Charismatic: (adj) relating to the charismatic movement in the Christian Church.

Even in the midst of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenburg Church, symbolizing the beginning of the Reformation Movement and the Protestant rendition of the faith, my mind prefers to go back less than fifty years–when
those boundaries existing between Catholics and Protestants were melted away by a simple sweet spirit.

I had just begun traveling the country–a young man full of dreams and plagued by empty pockets–when suddenly the walls that had once stood strong between the denominations of the followers of Jesus began to tumble by a movement of the Holy Spirit.

Matter of fact, many of my first opportunities to sing and share ended up being in front of Catholic Charismatic meetings, where those who honored a Pope and offered wine and cheese for snacks, suddenly joined hands in prayer with their Protestant counterparts.

It was beautiful. It was childlike. It was awe-inspiriring and sometimes a bit clumsy.

One night at a McDonald’s, one of my Catholic brothers, in an attempt to validate his newfound freedom and faith, proclaimed to the entire table of hamburger-munchers that “Jesus wiped with the same hand we do.” Everybody graciously said a quiet “amen,” our Big Macs suddenly shrinking in appeal.

What were the ingredients that made this movement so successful?

  1. They didn’t take too much time discussing theology.
  2. Everyone became known as a “Charismatic” instead of identifying by their denominational nametag.
  3. Love and hugging were just as important as Bible study and prayer.
  4. The music was like children’s hymns, sung with tears.
  5. It unified.

The Charismatic Movement didn’t last very long. False teachers, televangelists and those who wanted to make a dime off of a penny’s worth of thoughts soon came in and ravaged the faithful.

But it truly was charismatic.

Charismatic in the sense of being totally charming.

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Bronchitis

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Bronchitis: (n) inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tubes.

Odd as it may seem, the only way to stay well is to have been sick enough to build up antibodies to protect you.Dictionary B

It’s a strange system, isn’t it?

But without equity, some of us would believe that being ill was a sign of God’s anger, while others would conclude that clear nasal passages were a divine authorization to act superior.

So we all get sick.

It’s all about the timing.

When I was in my twenties, I recorded an album in Nashville, Tennessee, that started to get some attention. That in itself was remarkable, but then, when our group was invited to perform at a huge festival, our producers were nearly ecstatic, and were sure that this was the stepping stone to give us the focus to launch our career.

We planned the set, rehearsed the material–and somewhere along the line in the process, I got bronchitis.

I was so congested, choked up and stuffed that I was unable to produce any sound from my voice beyond a harsh whisper.

I tried everything.

Hot steam, over-the-counter remedies, honey and lemon and various configurations of prayer.

I stubbornly refused to cancel the festival, deciding that I would heroically see it through–that somehow or another, God in His infinite wisdom would grant me voice at the last moment.

In front of thousands of people, I croaked out what could have been our hit song–had I not been “Froggy McFrog.”

It was embarrassing.

No–humiliating.

Even those who loved me didn’t want to be around me. It made them try to be nice–and they didn’t feel nice.

So to some degree, from that point on in my life (since I kind of make my living from my voice) I have become a Cold Nazi.

If a sniffle is in the room or a child is dripping nasal fluid all over the house, I run away in horror.

I am not proud of that.

But my bout with bronchitis did warn me about the danger … of not having a voice in the matter.

 

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Blow

Blow: (v) to create an air current.

Dictionary B

Although I was greatly impressed with the poetry, I have to admit that when Bob Dylan proffered the idea that the answer is “Blowin’ in the Wind,” I was incredulous.

I do believe the Earth speaks to us.

I think there are obvious ways of thinking and acting that overall prosper a bit better than others. But God gave us a brain because emotions wear thin and souls can be too ethereal.

There are those who make my acquaintance who must “feel” everything to believe it’s real, and I have many friends who are convinced that prayer is the only way to receive lasting peace and tranquillity.

Yet I will tell you–that brain sits up there, begging to be used and certainly needing to be renewed with fresh insight every day .

I like the word “blow” because it has so may different representations.

It can be a burst of wind.

Or it can be an admission that we screwed up. “I blew that.”

It also has one or two naughty implications, which keep it even more intriguing.

But the answers we seek are probably not going to blow in our direction. They will require us to take a breath of air and release it, giving our brain enough oxygen… to blow forth some innovation.

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Bleep

Bleep: (n) a short high-pitched sound

Dictionary B

Often the solution is worse than the problem.

I listen in horror as commercials on television tell me the side effects of drugs that are meant to be helpful.

I frequently find myself with my mouth agape as I try to comprehend how politicians intend to take their limited “party view” and make it expansive enough for a diverse nation.

I am baffled by a church that insists that prayer in any form is a replacement for personal touch.

And I just cannot fathom why the censors on television believe that “bleeping” profane words actually eliminates their impact.

We children of Adam and Eve certainly can be pretentious. This is probably why Adam and Eve chose the Tree of Knowledge over the Tree of Life. We would much rather present ourselves as intelligent instead of possessing a hunger for the journey.

I do not know what we should do with the slang and colloquial profanities that permeate our society. But bleeping them does not lessen their obvious content–matter of fact, it creates a game, causing those who listen to speculate.

So somewhere along the line we need to work on the human heart, which is where all speech finds its birth.

Otherwise, we’re going to need someone to constantly follow us around, bleeping as we go.

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Beneficial

Beneficial: (adj) favorable or advantageous; resulting in good.

Dictionary B

  • There is what I want.
  • Then there is what I need.
  • Finally, there is what I lack.

These three do not intersect at any point.

For instance, as a chubby tubby, I want ring bologna that has no calories.

On the other hand, I need a balanced diet with an occasional piece of ring bologna thrown in–with calories, but forgivable.

Yet I lack the will and discipline to achieve the balance.

The true journey to wisdom is understanding that these three parts of us can only be fulfilled by tapping into the beneficial portions available.

I can establish what I want.

I need honest friends to help me discover my direction.

And I do require prayer, repentance and sometimes a bit of consternation … to be convinced of my lack.

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Bemoan

Bemoan: (v) to express discontent or sorrow over something.

Dictionary B

“Tell me how you feel.”

I hear these words spoken to me from time to time by individuals who think they are trying to tap into my inner soul to garner the essence of my honest emotions.

I don’t have honest emotions–I have temporary emotions.

Things cross my mind or fester in my heart and for the time being seem to be very important, yet dissipate quickly, like a springtime sprinkle of rain on a car windshield.

Yet if I opened up to you about these sensations, you might become convinced that they really had great significance.

They don’t.

Then I’m stuck with you considering me weak, turmoiled or limited in my ability to problem-solve.

So how can I be a candid human being and also adequately cautious that I’m not casting the pearls of my passing bemoaning in front of pig-headed evaluators?

For everything that scratches my itch or itches my scratch is not really important enough to share for the public purview.

Therefore, every time we run across a difficulty that temporarily sidelines our ability to reason, it is not necessary to put out a press release.

I call it the “two-hour rule.” If two hours of passing time, careful consideration, prayer, sense of humor and intelligent thinking it over don’t alleviate the situation, then maybe I should take a moment and air it out.

But the last thing in the world I want to become known for is being a soul who bemoans every time I lose 75 cents in the snack machine. 

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B. C.

B. C. (abv.) An abbreviation used with dates of events that took place before the birth of JesusDictionary B

After human beings were created–or evolved, depending on your persuasion–it did not take us long to find ways to screw one another over, while sealing the decision with a word of prayer.

The true danger with religion is that it allows its converts to pursue evil while not tolerating any transgression in others. Matter of fact, we become obsessed with how vacuous of righteousness the people around us are, as we tout our two or three good deeds as evidence of our superiority.

So it is no accident that the modern era of time is marked by the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth, who made it quite clear that religion was bowling us over, and that our only hope was to embrace our humanity with humility.

Many found his message obtuse.

Arguing with him and criticizing his personal habits soon was not enough, so an assassination plot was devised to rid the earth of a reasonable nature.

Fortunately, better thinkers won out, and today we have his message of “loving our neighbor as ourselves” available, though you often have to be patient to unwrap it from miles and miles of theological tape.

But in the long run, human beings will only survive if they become concerned about the survival of other human beings.

For the phrase, “every man for himself” immediately leaves out women and ushers in a less noble idea of “last man standing.”

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