Cozy

Cozy: (adj) snugly warm and comfortable

 Being separated from the storm by four solid walls.

Letting the snow fall as the fire grows.

Finishing paying the last bill and still having just a little bit of money left over.

A pair of socks taken from the dryer and quickly slid on your feet.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

A chilly room made better by a woolen sweater.

Realizing you made the better choice.

All the children in their beds without wondering if there is still one roaming the night streets.

Knowing you are in a room filled with those who really do seem to love you.

Coming up with the perfect way to say something off the top of your head and seeing the smiles of appreciation from those who were encouraged.

Feeling the heater in your car finally kick in so that you can remove the scarf from your face, take your gloves off and get ready to drive.

The exact right temperature of the hot chocolate, where it still warms your throat and hasn’t cooled down to the point of tasting like lukewarm chocolate milk.

Feeling discouraged and having someone come up behind you and place his or her hands on your shoulders in loving support.

Having traveled and traveled, to arrive home to put on your favorite nighttime shirt and ease your aching muscles into a bed that feels like it’s made of fluffy pillows.

Being glad you’re living instead of wondering what tomorrow will bring.

Cozy is that moment when we realize that being alive, loved and content cannot be surpassed.


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Compassion

Compassion: (n) sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

There has to be some suffering brought on by misfortune before concern is expressed–otherwise, there’s a danger of casting your pearls before pigs.

What we often refer to as compassion is really pity. And pity is an emotion that does no good for either side.

Those who are pitied are weakened, and those who pity feel too much superiority for it to be of much personal good.

It reminds me of a snowy day when I saw a little boy trying to climb a hill with a bag full of groceries. He looked to be about eleven years old, and try as he might,funny wisdom on words that begin with a C every time he climbed the hill, he slipped, and slid back down, spilling the groceries. He patiently put the items back into the bag and tried to ascend again.

This happened four–no, five times.

It was on the fourth time that I noted his determination, even though there were the beginning signs of exasperation, as he punched his fist into the snow upon rising.

I did not intervene at first. I waited to see if he would persevere. I paused to give him a chance to succeed.

I let him struggle.

Then I went out and assisted him, and we made it up the hill together, slipping and sliding.

I’ve made many mistakes in my life by thinking I was being compassionate to people who just did not feel it was necessary for them to put forth effort. I was always left holding the bag, feeling great disappointment.

Compassion occurs when you realize people have tried almost everything they could think of to solve their problem, are still pursuing it and could sure use encouragement and a helping hand.

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Christ

Christ: (n) the title, also treated as a name, given to Jesus of Nazareth

From the original Greek, the word “Christ” means “Anointed One.”

So much like religion–one definition requires a second definition.

What is anointed?

Is the Christ the only Anointed One?

Are you anointed?

Am I anointed?

Or is it a religion because there’s only one anointed person, who is worshiped by scads of non-anointed followers?

When I read the New testament, especially the Gospels, I can envision Jesus as a person. It’s when they start working hard to make him the Christ, fulfilling
Testament prophesies and legitimizing traditional practices, that I tend to duck back into the shadows.

I often wonder if Jesus would consider himself the Christ, the Anointed One.

We do have the occasion when he deflected praise for being God from a rich young ruler.

He constantly elevated the floor plan of people’s lives by telling them that “their faith made them whole.”

Is it possible that all of a sudden he turns into this opulent Son of the Most High God, who declares himself to be the Anointed One?

And it begs the question: do human beings require an Anointed One? Does somebody have to be perfect, free of sin and sent from the heavens in order for us to be impressed and impacted?

I woke up this morning to a world of white, layered in snow. I looked out my window and watched as a man in a car braved the elements, sliding his way over the ice, out onto the main thoroughfare of humanity.

That was pretty impressive. I wouldn’t call him anointed, but I did stop for a second and applaud him.

What does it take to touch us as people?

We are touched when we’re around other people who are burdened by our same difficulties, and still have not given up.

That’s what moves us.

Jesus did pretty well with the multitudes.

But Jesus Christ lives in a more uppity neighborhood.

 

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Beacon

Beacon: (n) a fire or light set up in a high or prominent position as a warning, signal, or celebration.Dictionary B

Flashing lights.

No one likes them.

I suppose they’re okay on a Christmas tree. But if you’re in a room for a long time and the decorations are too garish, it can become annoying.

We were taught that flashing lights warn us of danger or at least, pending inconvenience. So I guess we need them.

Yet by the same token, a world without flashing lights is a sudden discovery of disaster without any way to prepare or avoid it.

Therefore a beacon can be one of the more unappreciated necessities in the world. They appear in our lives at a very early age.

For instance, you’re five years old. The first snow has fallen and you want to run outside and play–throw it in the air and maybe make a snow man.

You are stopped.

A beacon–your mother or your father–steps in and feels the need to take at least ten minutes of your precious snow time to don you in garbs which inhibit your free movement, all because they want you to be warm and not get sick.

Who knows if they’re right?

It isn’t like you can look back and say, “Yeah, because I wore my ear muffs and toboggan, I avoided a cold.”

No, it’s just an annoying flashing.

And then, when you become a parent and find the need to “beacon out” some piece of wisdom or counsel, you suddenly realize that you are the annoying, flicking going on in the life of a child who loved you moments earlier, until you interrupted the flow.

Case in point: I just finished seeing family for Christmas. One of my jobs is to be a beacon.

That means if I see something that could be ridiculous, dangerous or lead to unhappy conclusions, it falls my lot to flash out a warning.

God, it’s horrible.

For you see, everybody wants to be a cheerleader and not the director of the cheerleaders, who has to decide whether the skirts are too short.

Yet a world without beacons would probably end up being one big explosion of light, producing destruction instead of intermittent blinking.

 

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Balmy

Balmy:(adj) pleasantly warm weather.Dictionary B

I will take the risk of speaking ideals. (After all, being idealistic is a tedious journey to frustration. At least when you’re pessimistic, you’ve already arrived.)

But taking a chance on musing the magnificent, let me say that when it comes to the subject of weather, I find the perfect to be simple.

It should never be so hot–or balmy–that you’re sitting without moving, and sweating.

Likewise, it should never be so cold that while sitting, you shiver.

Whatever that temperature may be in whatever climate or particular nation, there is the ideal.

Because even though I have found myself in regions which are deemed to be tropical paradises, they were always infested with bugs, buzzing things, and sweat.

  • Yes, the sun is warm.
  • Yes, the sky is blue.
  • And yes, I am melting.

Likewise, growing up in the Midwest, there were four or five months during the year when I either needed to grow fur or cover myself with it. I could not go outside without freezing and once inside, found it difficult to thaw out at an adequate pace.

So without being a complainer, I will tell you that for about two or three weeks every year–in whatever area of the country–I escape the perspiration of balmy and the icicles of frigid, and find the ability to sit and enjoy the air without interruption or being accosted by insects and snow.

 

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Antarctica

dictionary with letter AAntarctica: A continent around the South Pole

Somebody just wanted seven.

I am convinced that some guy putting together the map of the world thought that seven continents looked better than six, so he peered down at the South Pole and said, “Hey! There’s a continent!”

(Obviously, he didn’t think that eight was as poetic as seven. Otherwise, why leave out the North Pole?)

It must have been a real public relations bonanza for all the penguins and polar bears, even though I cannot truthfully tell you that I am positive there are polar bears at the South Pole.

Actually, what I know about the South Pole has gone south in my intelligence level.

I know this: I have no desire to visit it.

Matter of fact, when it occasionally comes on the television set with some sort of special about it, I turn the channel because I get cold.

I don’t like to get cold.

I grew up in the Midwest in an area where we weren’t even blessed with an abundance of snow–only the dreariness of gray clouds and the damp, bitter Jack Frost nipping at your ass.

So as I have aged (beyond twelve) I yearn for a place where you can walk out the door without having to display half of your wardrobe to stay warm.

So obviously, I am not a fan of Antarctica.

I don’t even like penguins that well because I think they’re making fun of how I walk.

And I was disappointed the first time I saw a polar bear, realizing that they’re really not white. They’re kind of a sickly beige.

So hats off to those who want to explore this mysterious seventh continent, including it on their bucket list of things to do before they die.

Just realize that if you do go … everything in your bucket will be frozen.

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Accumulate

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accumulate: (v.) to gather together or acquire an increasing number or quantity

It all comes down to what you’re gathering together.  In my mind, accumulation is associated with rain or snow. I guess one could accumulate great wealth.

But we rarely talk about accumulating intangibles. For instance, we don’t accumulate friends. We don’t really accumulate a sense of well-being.

Too bad. It’s not so much that the best things in life are free–it’s just that when we finally work our tails off to earn the things we think are best, we’re too exhausted to enjoy them.

So it’s really smart to accumulate things that don’t take a whole lot of effort, but instead, have a great pay-off. Matter of fact, it might be fun to tie a number to them. In other words:

  • Getting an ice cream cone at Burger King for fifty cents is a 3 in effort and a 10 in accumulation.
  • Working 40 hours a week at my job is a 10 in effort and a 3 in accumulation.
  • Sitting through a church service?? Well, that’s a toughie. I’m afraid that often it’s a 9 in effort and a 2 in accumulation.
  • Listening to a politician tout his or her programs–well, I think you get the idea.

We have found the secret to life, have we not? So how can I invest my daily bread of energy effectively to accumulate the better mixture of tangible holdings and intangible blessing? Quite frankly, we become grumpy if we have to work too hard to get so little.

You have to admire the heavens, which simply open up the clouds and dump whatever is available–hot OR cold. They don’t apologize or put forth extreme, strenuous effort. They just rain. They just snow. But in the meantime, we receive accumulation.

That’s what I want to be. Without coming across too weird or ethereal, if I could just be a cloud that floats along until it’s my time to dump my precipitation and then relax and let it flow–I would be happy.

Human life is too often spent determining what we want to do, fussing about it, arguing over it and planning it–only to be disappointed in the end at the turn-out. What if we flipped it? What if we put LESS effort in an attempt to get more results?

For when it’s all said and done, people will look back on our time of occupying terra firma and said, “What did they accumulate?”

If we make it look easy, we might encourage somebody to do more–instead of scaring them away from excellence.