Couch: (n) a piece of furniture for seating

Although I am just as guilty as the next man or woman of what we shall call “greedy” prayers—those wishes and supplications we make to God and the universe to improve our bank accounts—I am also fully aware that some of the best times of my life transpired when I was funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
unencumbered with the desire for finance, and found great joy in simply trying to survive.

There were many aspects of that process. Let me boil them down to three categories:

  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Escape

When you’re poor, every day there is the need to find something to eat and also a safe place to sleep and something that is more comfortable than a cardboard box to rest your bones upon, and then, to have the intuition to escape creditors, family members, critics and anybody else who would try to “guilt” you into a lifestyle that mirrors their own.

Now right there, friends, is a full-time job.

If you do not have money, finding enough to eat, a place to sleep, and a way to escape the scrutiny of your adversaries will keep every child of God busy until morning’s light.

I learned the simplicity of finding change and turning it into a couple of dollars which would buy enough bologna and bread to make a meal—if I slipped out into the woods and picked myself some wild blackberries.

And I certainly knew how to circle a neighborhood and find a discarded couch which was heading for the dumpster and had nothing wrong with it except some dirt and recent rain that fell while it sat awaiting its execution.

That couch was fair game. It was rejected, left alone and on a public sidewalk. If I could jump out of my beat-up van, lift it in, and take it back to my location of rest, I could have a place to sit and sleep. There were times I broke out in tears over discovering a particular sofa that was so comfortable that it literally “couched” my aching muscles for many weeks.

I was amazed at what people will give away, throw away or discard because in their opinion, it got old too fast.

I was also astounded at how many doughnut places took their mistakes and day-old product and dumped them out every morning at 8:16 A. M.

And I was careful to swoop in at just the right moment, taking as little time as possible to procure a couch or a beat-up box of rejected doughnuts.

Poverty is an adventure in exhaustion which receives no applause for ingenuity.

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Good News and Better News



Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A


Ado: (n) trouble or difficulty: e.g. she had much ado to keep up with him.

Everybody’s familiar with Much Ado About Nothing.” It’s a clever Shakespearean phrase. But what IS “ado” and what is “nothing?”

There are two flaws in human beings that were placed there by the Creator as a means of keeping us in just enough dissatisfaction to be aware that we REQUIRE good cheer. That’s the “ado” part.

Human beings are completely capable, in the midst of a blessed life, of not only finding the fly in the ointment, but also being completely possessed with the notion that there are MORE flies than ointment.

“Ado”–a sense of discontent that rattles us even in the midst of joyous discovery and revelry. After all, even when people extol the great fun of drinking alcohol, when you actually get around those who are partaking, the brief season of levity is often followed by depressing reflections on their own inadequacies.

“Ado” is that part of us that just can’t settle on our lot without feeling nasty or bratty. So therefore we begin to focus on “nothing.”

  • We find reasons to disagree with each other instead of establishing commonalities.
  • We start political parties to counteract the political party that disappointed us on Tuesday, which had so greatly impressed us on Saturday.
  • We insist we are worshipping God and praising Him while our prayers are a laundry list of bitchiness.

Once you convince yourself that there is “ado,” then “nothing” becomes something. Things that would not normally throw us upset us or even concern us become stumbling blocks to good emotional and mental health.

So this is why I believe that true spirituality is the promotion of good cheer as opposed to “kneeling and appealing.” And what IS good cheer?

Good cheer is accepting what’s been provided, and beginning to divvy it up–and because you take the time to enjoy what’s available, you look up from your task and suddenly discover there’s more.

I’ve never seen anyone happy until they started pretending they were happy.

I know we’re afraid of pretending, but let’s be honest–some of the most joyous times in our lives were when we were six years old and made believe that we were Superman.

Much Ado About Nothing–“ado” is when I convince myself that I’ve been cheated, and “nothing” is the mythical evidence I bring to support my claim.

We are a funny creation, are we not?


Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adherent: (n.) someone who supports a party, person or set of ideas e.g.: he was a strong adherent of the single pay system of health care

Glue is sticky.

This is irrefutable. Matter of fact, if it’s not–sticky, that is–it really can’t be called glue.

When I see the word “adherent” I think of the word “adhere”–being STUCK to. At the risk of being considered a weirdo, I must tell you: I don’t adhere to much.

Here’s why: things change.

And even though folks around me stump and stomp for their causes, within a generation we have usually changed our minds, thus becoming unglued. So I’m not quite sure what the initial purpose is of gluing things down–if you plan to rip them up later.

  • Does that make me wishy-washy? Oh, no.
  • Does it make me a flip-flopper? Not exactly. I’m not really a flip-flopper if I warn you that my flip may flop.

There are three words I believe are important when pursuing our dreams and getting along with other human beings. They are visionary, follower, and adherent.

When it comes to faith I am a visionary. I think it is impossible to please God or yourself without occasionally taking a chance on something that looks like it has potential for blessing the world around you.

In the realm of hope I am a follower. I see no reason to turn to someone who is struggling with cancer and covets my prayers, and tell him to buck up and get ready for the end. Hope can be dangerous if it’s the only input you allow yourself, but if hope if a decision to relieve the torment of worry, allowing your faith a chance to work, then it can be pure gold.

And the only thing I can truthfully say I am an adherent of is love. Love is anything whatsoever that encourages life, forgiveness and acceptance. For that I would be an adherent.

So I think you have to decide when you want to be a visionary, using your faith; choose moments to tap your hope by becoming a follower of those who are standing against the odds, and always be an adherent when love appears on life’s menu.

I am comfortable with that.

Love is the glue … the only sticky stuff which is able to hold us together.


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accoutrement: (n.) additional items of dress or equipment, or items carried or worn for a particular activity: the accoutrements of religious activity.

Isn’t it fascinating that the definition of accoutrements immediately goes to religion?

  • What would we do if we didn’t have little knick-knacks to set on the table for our worship experience?
  • What if there weren’t special hats?
  • What if the robes were put into mothballs?
  • What if the bread and wine were not actually symbolistic of the body and blood of Christ?
  • What if for some reason there was a shortage of candles?
  • What if pews were exchanged for bean bags?

Is it possible to have an experience of faith without having an open souvenir stand at the park of religion, where we pick up our memorabilia to confirm that “we went on a brief vacation with God?”

What if faith was really about loving one another? Do you need a cross for that?

What if belief in a Divine Creator was accentuated and exemplified by the expressions on our faces? Would that be better portrayed with sackcloth and ashes?

What if our actions were deemed just as valuable as our prayers? Would we need a kneeling rail?

If we removed all the accoutrements from the experiences of our lives, would they still be experiences–or do the doo-dads make us believe that it’s real?

  • Could we have a God without the Bible?
  • Could we have brotherhood without using a collection plate?
  • And could we feel free from our sins without being immersed in water?

Symbolism is a wonderful process–IF it is a visual confirmation of what is obviously going on in our souls.

But it is just a lousy replacement for how we really feel.