Confusion

Confusion: (n) lack of understanding; uncertain, bewilderment.

People often get confused about confusion.

I suppose that’s because if you allow it to happen, it can be very confusing.

It occurs when we begin to believe that complicated answers are better than simple ones. We also start feeling there are questions that have no answer funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
whatsoever, and therefore the situations must be endured instead of conquered.

If you can convince someone that evil is powerful, ignorance is supreme, indifference is rampant, God is impotent and human beings are careless, then you can pretty well control the narrative and generate a climate of gloom and doom. Once you do this, it’s possible to control people simply by frightening them.

Yet, it’s difficult to scare people who have joy.

Fear is hard to promote among those involved in true love.

And terrorizing an individual who has faith is nearly impossible.

To create confusion, you must present a dilemma in which the problems seem insurmountable and the resources, limited.

Every dictator, tyrant, false teacher and unrighteous religion has maintained a following of human beings simply by convincing them that the problems are so immense that to continue to try to resolve them would only create more confusion.

If you want to save the world, simplify things.

And as you do, sprout a smile.

 

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Commend

Commend: (v) to praise formally or officially.

A face that is not tired of still trying to offer a smile.

A childlike silliness, even when you aren’t with children.

A hope that opportunity will provide finance.

A notion that even though people try to be different, it’s more fun to discover how we’re the same.

Being satisfied with beans and wieners.

Trying a new recipe, blowing it, but still eating a little.

Having it cross your mind to say “I love you” and doing it instead of choking it back.

Noticing someone who’s lonely and simply touching their shoulder as you go by.

Giving a dollar–or maybe two–to the homeless without wondering what they’re going to do with it.

Choosing to take action instead of just praying.

Listening instead of quoting a scripture.

Laughing when it’s time to stop crying.

Giving without thinking.

Caring without worrying.

Living fully without requiring a heavenly reward.

These are some things I commend.

 

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Breadline

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Breadline: (n) a line of people waiting to receive free food.

I’ve actually said it out loud.

“I’m starved.”Dictionary B

Truth of the matter is, I have rarely been hungry enough to justify a complaint. Maybe lunch was a little late and I claimed low blood sugar, which justified eating a Snickers while waiting for my Big Mac. But I’ve never really been malnourished to the point that my innards were trying to take over my brain.

When I see pictures of human folks standing in line to get nourishment, a meal which I would mock for its insufficiency, I am temporarily humbled and shaken.

Much of the world will go to bed tonight without dinner.

You don’t make friends by bringing this up at a party, and you don’t feed ten children by putting them on your prayer list.

What truly astounded me was when I found myself touring through Haiti, I came across a man who had picked up a few pennies on the street to buy two tomatoes. He also had saved some grains of rice from a bag which had a hole in it. I watched him put that in a pot over a little fire and stir it together as he realized he needed a little something else. He walked over to a patch of grass and pulled out a handful of blades and threw it into his concoction with a smile on his face.

At that point I realized that I had no comprehension of hunger.

Would I be willing to stand in a breadline, waiting for a paltry parcel of portion?

Actually … I think my stomach might insist on it.

 

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Applaud

dictionary with letter A

Ap·plaud (v): to show approval or praise by clapping.

Although many people distinguish between human beings by referring to them as “saints” or “sinners,” I truthfully contend that we all blur into “sainners.” For after all, the saints do sin, and the sinners, every once in a while, stumble into some saintly behavior.

But there is one distinct difference between those who “pew” and those who have “de-pewed” and that is over the issue of whether to applaud or not to applaud.

Those who have refrained from steeple life deem applause a way of showing appreciation and often those within the confines of the holy temple think that such generosity is reserved solely for the Almighty and not for his faithful minions.

Here’s the problem: whether you are in the church or out of the church, you’re still human.

Since saints appear to be those individuals who have escaped the mortal coil and no longer have to worry about rent and traffic gridlock, it is difficult for us to pattern our lives after their mannerisms.

Saints and sinners both have to find a way to be human without offending one another (or God, for that matter).

And I will tell you, one of the sure ways to create a resentful, frustrated and bitter individual is to remove encouragement and approval for his or her work.

In America, we show that kind of “attaboy” with money or applause.

When you remove the applause, as is often done in religious circles, and even occasionally subtracting the money, you end up with a craftsman who is trying to do his work out of duty.

Can I say–human beings just suck at duty? Or maybe it’s just that duty itself sucks.

So even though I have performed in front of the faithful many times, I gently demand that they applaud so they don’t end up looking like a bunch of jerks who are trying to decide whether to enjoy themselves.

Matter of fact, because I know the God who fills my heart is a creative genius, I sometimes will step outside early in the morning, as the sun is rising, smile … and applaud.

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Anchorman

dictionary with letter A

Anchorman: (n) the man who presents and coordinates a live television or radio news program

Can there be anything more awkward than the word “anchorperson?”

There are so many entrenched ideas in our society that when you try to edit them with more appropriate language, you end up looking like a buffoon.

But there are also so many talking heads on television of both genders, that we sometimes forget the voices and demeanors that are required to deliver the news of our day with the correct level of gravitas.

I think there are three preferred approaches. (Of course, I admit that this may be generational, and younger viewers may wish for a bit more variety. But I think sometimes what you get with variety is a lack of definition.)

What happens in our world is serious enough that we need the report imparted to us in such a way that we can be impacted without being destroyed, and educated without being influenced. (Once again, my opinion.)

So the three approaches I think work in this position–whether it be male or female–are:

1. Flat and monotone.

There are very few things in life that work with this blending, but I remember watching Huntley and Brinkley as a kid, and being totally convinced that neither one of them were capable of a frown or a smile, but that they had their features cemented in place prior to the broadcast, to ensure they would not communicate any emotion whatsoever during their assignment.

2. Fatherly.

Certainly Walter Cronkite comes to mind. Watching him was kind of like having your dad explain the facts of life to you, using a combination of scientific terms with generally accepted colloquialisms, while all the time patting you on the shoulder to comfort you over some of the more shocking details.

3. Bemused and sardonic.

I always find Brian Williams or Diane Sawyer to be this way. With the squint of an eyebrow, you feel that they are a bit confused about what’s going on with the planet, but the little smile at the corner of their lips tells you not to take things too seriously.

On the other hand, the new batch of anchor people, who sport anger, frustration, sarcasm, a political leaning or just disdain for anyone who disagrees with them, leaves me cold.

Yes, I think an anchor man, who often is a woman, needs to give us a chance to absorb what’s happening, assimilate it through our minds, and arrive at some form of conclusion … that resembles our own thinking.

 

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