Dead: (adj) no longer living; deprived of life

This can’t be the definition: “No longer living, deprived of life.”

Simply stated, the definition of “dead” is “not breathing.”

For I will tell you—I meet people all the time who are no longer living and certainly seem to be deprived of life.

But they’re still sucking up air.

And they’re often taking that air to spray the contents of the room with negativity, prejudice or snobbery.

Long before we die, some die.

And if we’re still alive when we stop breathing, there’s very little about us that can truthfully be dead.

If our name evokes a smile, if reading a bit of correspondence we sent brings a tear, and if our picture on the wall hearkens to jubilant times, it’s hard to pronounce us dead.

No tomb exists for brilliance.

So what kills us?

What causes us to give up on living long before we give up on breathing?

On the other hand, what would prompt someone to desire to stay alive to the centennial birthday, just to bitch and complain about living conditions?

So I don’t know whether elongated breathing time is a blessing or a curse. If your life is miserable, it is extending the misery, which may just be simulating spending three days in hell.

And if you’re overjoyed—on your way to make love and change the world—and you get hit by a semi, your breathing is snuffed but your living soars on.

I have no desire to be philosophical in this matter and I’m not trying to root out an existential truth to make you think I’m deep and cerebral.

I just choose to believe that dying happens when we stop breathing.

But we can never truly be dead if we have a grasp of greatness …

… and a sense of the significant.


Baptism: (n) in the Christian Church, the religious rite of sprinkling water onto a person’s forehead or of immersion in water, symbolizing purification or regeneration and admission to the Christian Church Dictionary B

It is very difficult to recognize arrogance when perched in the permeating presence of arrogance.

Arrogance often appears to be good judgment, sound doctrine, faithful thinking and maturity when not examined for its elements of pious snobbery.

I grew up in a church that believed you were supposed to dunk people in water to baptize them. They not only believed it–they thought that any other form of baptism was errant, and would not be accepted at the Great Judgment Day, when the Holy God of All came to check out our baptismal certificate.

I developed an arrogance about it to match the arrogance of those around me who arrogantly thought they were following an arrogant message from an arrogant God.

In the process, the significance and symbolism of baptism mostly escaped me.

Baptism is really simple. To me, it’s similar to acknowledging that since I’ve gone into the bathroom and used the toilet, there’s a great possibility I might need to wash my hands.

For you must know that human life not only sullies our efforts, but also dirties our souls.

The symbolism of baptism washing us from the foolishness of the past to allow us newness of life is breathtaking–especially when you consider that the One we place our confidence in was baptized himself.

Yes, Jesus felt it was necessary to be baptized.

And since we have deemed him “perfect,” then it is a good idea for us to consider the significance of what can truly be a fulfilling cleansing.


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