Chinese

Chinese: (adj) relating to China or its language, culture, or people.

My daughter-in-law is from China.

She is the wife of my godson. They have two beautiful children. I don’t see them much because they live in China.

My first encounters with this dear lady were enlightening. We struck up an immediate friendship, and I was deeply impressed by her work
ethic, her respect and her honoring of those who have more age then herself.

But she is Chinese. She was raised under an absolute totalitarian form of government, which discourages people from being inventive. Now, the Chinese diplomats would probably take issue with that, but the danger of trying to make everyone the same is that they take you up on it. And once sameness has been achieved, the desire to excel, be different or discover an original path seems pointless.

In our capitalistic system, discouragement comes from a different arena. We are constantly pumped full of the helium of hope–that anyone can be wealthy and successful, while simultaneously closing doors of finance and opportunity on ideas coming from ingenious folks who weren’t born with any spoon in their mouth.

I suppose the controversy rages over which system hampers the human spirit the most. Is it more vindictive to quell creativity, or much more punishing to be creative and unable to find the means to your end?

I suppose my daughter-in-law and I could talk about this for hours. But the real issue is free will. Although many religionists and politicians would persist in trying to steal it from the human condition, God is intensely committed to free will.

So where the Spirit of God exists, there is liberty.

I have the choice to be lazy, productive, genuine, fake, kind or mean. Then I also have the responsibility to rise and fall on my choice.

It would be amazing if the Chinese people, with their great traditions and immense passion for excellence, could be unleashed with creativity and complete freedom, to choose their own path. Would they maintain the quality of their passion, or become complainers like many capitalists?

I don’t know.

True spirituality is feeling responsible without being confined, and being creative without insisting you’re entitled.

 

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Cherry-Pick

Cherry-pick: (v) to selectively choose (the most beneficial items) from what is available.

Living in an era when social slop is often offered as emotional cuisine, it is sometimes difficult to ascertain the bad from the good and call it ugly.

Matter of fact, upon reading the word “cherry-pick” this morning, a negative feeling came over me–images of prissy people sitting around
choosing their favorites based upon preference in design and structure.

People often say that I cherry-pick my political views, missions and certainly my spirituality. So to those critics, let me say with full-throated confidence:

You are right.

I have no idea if what I believe about government would actually work, but in my mind it is certainly preferable to the “dance of the dunce” that we presently parade in Washington, D.C.

I don’t know if I am any kind of expert on television, movies and entertainment–I just know that I don’t like anything that doesn’t both entertain and inspire me.

And I certainly cannot contend that the Gospel I believe in is completely in line with the one that was in the mind of the Nazarene who strolled the Earth in loincloth so many centuries ago. But after many years of living, I believe it is still the good news that actually functions in the hearts of all cultures.

It is time we begin to cherry-pick:

Start liking movies for their content instead of who stars in them or who directs them.

Begin to believe in ideas, not because 25,000 people gather to cheer them on, but because they are full of mercy and grace.

Listen to music that stuns our consciousness with an immersion of human awareness instead of merely demonstrating the height and breadth of technology.

I am a cherry-picker–and because of that, I have found my life to be fruitful.

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Cherry

Cherry: (n) a small, round stone fruit that is typically bright or dark red.

Rhonda wanted to impress me.

Traveling on the road, feeling young, my hair down to my shoulders, in a beat-up van, with a few songs I had written and dreams of
greatness, Rhonda had bought into my whole delusion and was along for the ride.

Our relationship was an interesting mingling of respect, lust, spirituality and availability.

One day Rhonda went to the store.

It was rather ironic that she was there because we didn’t really have any money. I had given her just two dollars–one to buy some bologna and one to buy some bread and mustard. (This was back when you could buy bread, mustard and bologna with two dollars.)

About forty minutes later she was back with the entrees, but also with a huge bag of cherries. It seems that she had arrived in the produce section just about the time that the manager was ready to throw away a whole bunch of cherries which he had over-ordered for the appetite of the community.

She saw him heading for the dumpster and she asked if she could have the sweet treats. I guess he must have looked at her bell-bottom jeans, hemp blouse and long, stringy hair and felt sorry for her.

He gave her the whole bag.

There were probably three hundred and twenty-eight cherries in there (not that I counted.)

We ate bologna sandwiches and cherries until we could eat no more. Some of the cherries were old and grumpy and others were soft and too mushy, but most of them were deliciously ripe and ready for consumption.

About an hour later, after eating all these cherries, a volcanic rumble began low in my belly, and crept its way up to my chest. Rhonda too.

We both were in horrific pain from a cherry juice hangover.

We needed to go to the bathroom, but there was no real indication that anything would happen.

So we rolled on our bellies all afternoon with a mixture of pain and gratitude over such a cherry experience.

 

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Chemistry

Chemistry: (n) the complex emotional or psychological interaction between two people.

Who would ever have expected that hydrogen and oxygen could blend together to make water?

Of course, hydrogen has to bring twice as much of itself to the mixture to make it work. It is H2O.

Yet the two separated do not resemble the combined.

It’s a great principle of relationship. As long as two parties insist on maintaining their integrity without any merger of purposes, then
nothing really ever happens. In this day and age, we’ve become obsessed with individual achievement, therefore limiting the possibility of mutual effort.

And sometimes, just as with water, somebody has to give twice as much to make it work. But the end result is something valuable–something commonly put into practice.

What is the chemistry of spirituality? Is it God reaching for man, humans reaching for God, or humans reaching for one another and therefore finding God?

What is the chemistry of politics? Is it the power of the vote choosing excellent candidates who enact great ideas, or might it be the great ideas determining what candidates receive the votes? Or has it become the candidates telling everyone how to vote while setting aside great ideas?

What is the chemistry of education? Is it teaching facts, hoping that those who hear them will turn them into action? Or is it displaying action and stepping back to study the facts?

Just as in chemistry, if the unit of oxygen decides to try to be equal to the two units of hydrogen, then you have H2O2–which is hydrogen peroxide, which is not recommended for drinking.

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Censor

Censor: (v) to examine a book or movie and officially suppress unacceptable parts of it.

The human race is completely devoid of any cohesive code of behavior. This is why we hire people to censor everyday life, trying to bring it into a pleasing mode of operation.

Yet even though various commandments and ethical standards are touted from generation to generation, they are systematically either
ignored or replaced.

So I have decided what is valuable and truthful for my life. The reason? Many things I hold dear have been left for dead as arcane concepts or old-fashioned ideals.

Every time we carve out principles in stone, there are those who come with a sledge hammer and smash them to powder.

The whole thing would seem very bleak, and perhaps even sinister, unless you possessed the wisdom to understand that when it comes to morality, spirituality, ethics and values, each one of us takes a journey of our own, gathering what we hold dear and reaping the rewards for inspired behavior.

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BS

j-r-practix-with-border-2

BS: (n) Bull shit

I think it’s wrong to blame bulls.

They eat and they secrete.

For us to tie all of our human foibles, inconsistencies and hypocrisies to their dung is flat-out insulting.Dictionary B

I’m not a lawyer and do not represent any bulls in particular, but I will tell you–the atrocities, stupidities and half-truths produced in our society are human shit.

It’s not like bull shit. It doesn’t come out in perfectly formed turds.

It’s dumped in varieties of personalized, steamy piles, often expressed with diarrhea of the mouth.

It is unique to our species because it is individualized by our diet of morality, spirituality and compassion.

Bulls have never done anything to us.

What I experience every day is human shit: the thought people have that they might be able to get by with what they say and do because everyone around them … is stupider than they are.

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Born Again

Born again: (adj) converted to a personal faith in Christ

“It’s my life.”Dictionary B

Hell, that would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Yet by the time I took my first breath, my mama and papa had already inserted so much hard-wiring into my circuits that much of my existence was already hammered in–triggered for response.

And if that wasn’t enough, I have five years of life which I can’t remember in detail, where I was brainwashed into accepting the pitter of the patter of my parents.

They weren’t done with me yet, though.

They sent me to school, camp, church, symposiums, and all sorts of educational excursions to further program my data base.

And then all of a sudden, when they were through with me, they tossed me out of the plane like a skydiver, screaming at me as I fell, “Don’t forget to open your parachute!”

Damn, I didn’t even know I had a parachute.

I certainly didn’t know how to access it.

You see, people often express their disdain, dislike and even dissociation with religion and spirituality. I listen to them voice their concerns, often legitimate ones, about the excesses and unnecessary interference of those who are pious and petty.

But I must admit that by the time I was falling out of that “coming-of-age” airplane, plummeting to Earth, I realized that the greatest need in my life was to have the chance to be born again–this time free of the control of others.

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