Chronicle: (n) a factual written account of events

It is a rather humbling thought–that each one of us basically makes our appearance on Earth and disappears, all within a hundred years.

A hundred years may sound like a lot if you’re five years old, but by the time you reach fifty, it is melting like summer ice.

Truthfully we all leave one lasting impression behind. How did we chronicle our journey?

Because we do chronicle it–through our attitude, our faith, our persistence, our interactions and our willingness to evolve and adapt.

Some people choose to chronicle Earth by acting like they’ve been placed here to critique it. They always seem to have a negative side to the most positive results. They will gladly tell you it’s just their nature–their way of helping to maintain quality control.

Some people chronicle the Earth by refusing to participate.They develop four or five ideas which they refuse to amend no matter how much evidence comes to disprove their assertions. They are proud of stubbornness.

There are those who chronicle the Earth by ignoring it and waiting for heaven. Their whole focus is in achieving an eternal life which has been heavily promoted but not seriously reviewed.

But for those souls who believe in simplification, the best way to chronicle the Earth is to stay silent until it is time to count one’s blessings. Obviously there will be some struggle in achieving good. There will be many errors in the process of getting there. And there will be moments when the Earth will seem like the hell we’re escaping to get to the heaven we desire.

Yet it is such a boring way to live–complaining about the status quo instead of announcing the coming show.

I shall chronicle the Earth, though I will only be here for less than a century.

I will make sure that century is peppered with good reports, bold experimentation and a faith that includes myself and others, with the presence of God.

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Blur: (v) to make or become unclear or less distinct.

Dictionary B

“Blurring the lines.”

It is a phrase used to characterize the alleged growing ambiguity between right and wrong.

It is a way for those who believe they’ve cornered the market on purity to lament the intrusion of foreign ideas.

Are we really blurring the lines, or are we just admitting that there are no lines?

After all, is life really a bounty of boundaries, which when crossed, transform us into different creatures? Or are there wide-open spaces and boxes?

And what is the purpose of wide open spaces?

Why do we insist that being free-thinking is better, while simultaneously decrying those visionary concepts which are contrary to the status quo?

After all, most of the things that exist in the panorama of our daily viewing would have been impossible to achieve if someone had not objected to the prevailing offering.

Which came first? Glue, paper clip or staple? It’s a rather easy answer, isn’t it? You can see the progression. First we tried glue, which didn’t stick; then we attached a paper clip, which slipped–and we finally arrived at the staple, which literally fastened a solution.

If we’re going to believe in lines, we will have to stay within them. To do so, we must make sure that we are completely comfortable and joyous within the limits of our enclosure.

And we also had better confirm that we’re not claustrophobic when our compartment starts filling up with conformists.

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dictionary with letter A

Anodyne: (adj) a manner of communicating unlikely to provoke dissent or offense, deliberately uncontentious

I have never used this word before, nor have I heard it. But I certainly have encountered the spirit of it everywhere I go.

Even though I am often invited to speak and share my thoughts in front of audiences, at the very last moment the sponsor often approaches me in a kindly, smiling profile, trying to gently determine if I plan on being offensive or controversial.

Everyone on Earth knows that nothing is ever achieved by spreading the banquet table of the status quo and offering it for general consumption. The status quo has already had a season of being the status, and its quo is so well-known that there’s very little interest in it.

So the goal is to try to find something that has a bit of edge and transition in its nature, but at the same time, is edifying to the human soul.

The other option is to purposely startle people under the guise of entertainment, hiding behind the religion of the First Amendment, which allows for free speech, no matter how stupid and useless it may be.

So what are the guidelines? I can only speak for myself.

1. Don’t share anything you haven’t tried and found to be successful in your own life.

Fad philosophy is just like fad dieting–for a little while it seems to work and then when it falls apart, you end up weighted down worse than before.

2. It should be understandable.

I’m tired of people expressing superiority by complicating life. If you can’t make it easier for folks, shut your damn mouth.

3. The goal should be to edify and exhort other human beings, even if they choose not to receive the benefits.

  • My heart is more important to me than the conclusion.
  • My motivation is more essential than success.

I have no intention of saying things that are safe, because in the long run, our world becomes dangerous when either goodness doesn’t take evil seriously, or when evil can prove that goodness is way too serious.


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dictionary with letter A

Anarchy: (n) a state of disorder due to the absence or nonrecognition of authority.

Is there really order if the people or the powers that be in control have created emotional anarchy in those around them?

In other words, if people aren’t discovering freedom or contentment, is there any order? Or is the general disorder of being insensitive to humanity leaving the door open for necessary dissent?

And if that’s too difficult to understand, let me simplify it: if it ain’t workin’, why work it?

A certain amount of anarchy is necessary to create change.

As long as we are satisfied, lining up in straight columns to follow the existing standards, what chance is there for an inkling of insight to wiggle its way into the conversation?

  • Where is there injustice?
  • Where are there platitudes without purpose?
  • Where is there practice without reason?
  • Where do commandments get proclaimed without commanding us to improve our lives?

I think anarchy is one of those words created by people who love to maintain the status quo, making anyone who disagrees look like a renegade.

Actually, there’s no such thing as anarchy. There is legitimate change and illegitimate stupidity.

If we need it, it is not anarchy. If it is counter-productive to the human race, then it’s just dumb.

By this definition I would call myself an anarchist when it comes to organized religion.

I am an anarchist about the two-party system in our country.

I think the electoral college itself is anarchy.

I think the way men and women have allowed themselves to be segregated is anarchy manufactured by religion, politics and entertainment in order to plump up each existing demographic.

George Washington was an anarchist.

Abraham Lincoln certainly promoted anarchy.

Franklin Roosevelt’s work programs, were pure anarchy.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is anarchy born of spirit.

Nothing is going to happen in this country until anarchy has a chance to speak up without being cut off at the legs for being radical.

It’s time to review what we call “holy”… and see if it actually is making people whole.

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dictionary with letter A

Alternative: (adj.) available as another possibility: e.g. the various alternative methods for resolving disputes

Webster’s dictionary definition is very generous.

In a world where the status quo is extolled as not only being common, but nearly godly in its significance, a concept like “alternative” is almost always associated with being out of the flow.

  • Alternative rock: another name for “your rock band has no chance of being played on Top 40 Radio.”
  • Alternative lifestyle: a warning shouted by Middle America to discourage you from moving into their neighborhood.
  • Alternative political party: a guarantee that you will only receive votes from family members.
  • Alternative worship experience: the real one is happening at eleven o’clock, but we’re going to let the kids play around at nine.

Here’s what I know about alternative: if I’m in a room discussing an issue with friends, family, acquaintances and by-standers, and somebody offers an idea that may be contrary to the norm but addresses a need that no one has yet considered, it is no longer an alternative view, but rather, a necessary inclusion.

Bluntly, just because people don’t agree with me does not mean they don’t possess smart ideas that are required to form the solution.

It doesn’t matter what issue we are trying to finagle–from gun control to abortion to immigration to war to homosexuality–well, the list goes on and on. What is required to make the requirement is to listen to others tell you what they require.

What we are calling alternative opinions are often pieces of the puzzle which must be kept in readiness, so when we get to the end and find out we’re incomplete, they can be placed in their needful position to form the picture.

It reminds me of the story of the feeding of the five thousand from the Good Book. After the initial miracle of providing grub for a large crowd with limited funds for the menu, Jesus tells the disciples to “gather up the leftovers, that nothing be lost.” I am sure they thought it was stupid. Everybody was stuffed; they had gorged themselves on food. What was the purpose of carrying around twelve baskets of extras?

Simple. He was telling these fellows that somewhere along the line they were going to need them.

If we throw away every idea that is not part of our own philosophy, when our reasoning breaks down, we will not have the available knowledge to know how to address the issue.

In 1961 in Birmingham, Alabama, there were many white persons who were fully aware that segregation was not only filled with error, but useless. Yet because alternative views were not allowed on the subject matter, we were forced to produce a bloody conclusion instead of an intelligent one.

I know what I think. But I also know I need to think.

In order for that to work, I must realize that the alternative values of today may very well become the mainstream thinking of tomorrow.


dictionary with letter A

 J. R. Practix

J. R. Practix

Alter: (v) to change or cause to change in character or composition, esp. in a small but significant way.
There is only one thing that makes a good human being: a desire to change without being forced to do so, welcoming the spirit of repentance.

The only question we all need to ask ourselves is, do we want to alter? Is there a passion within us to improve our status in order to gain the benefits which will certainly follow?

What do I want to alter?

  1. I’d like to not be so fat.
  2. I would like to get rid of all of my brattiness instead of settling for the amount that has already been chased away.
  3. I would like to stay on the cutting edge of transition which is moving towards making better human beings.
  4. I would like to get rid of all the remnants of fear that cling to the walls of my will and desire.
  5. I want to welcome the chance to be challenged, disproven and to be the first one to move forward instead of dragging my feet.
  6. Be a better husband and father. (Maybe better stated, I would like to more effectively understand the jobs.)
  7. And finally, continue this list for the rest of my life instead of being satisfied with my status quo.

Too many people who linger at the altar of prayer spend too little time letting their prayers alter them.

God, help me to be different.


Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Afloat: (adv) floating in water, not sinking

There is one great advantage to being a fat dude (other than the joy you achieve in chomping your way to the status quo…) When I go into the deep end of a pool, I am able to stand without needing to tread waterand float.

Matter of fact, one day I was doing just that and a guy swimming nearby me paused and stared at me in a combination of wonder and horror, and finally worked up the courage to ask, “How are you doing that?”

Feeling a bit of mischief in my heart, I replied, “Sometimes I get tired of walking on top of the water and I ease down to rest.”

The humor escaped him.

The reason I stay afloat is because I have enough lard stored in my tissue  that it creates a buoyancy which lifts me up in the current. Now, I am not suggesting that this is adequate motivation for risking the perils of obesity. But there is something wonderful about finding a way to be afloat without having to constantly struggle.

Matter of fact, I’ve tried to duplicate the sensation in other areas of my life:

  • With my family. I have raised my sons, and now it’s up to them to figure out what parts of what I shared were valuable and what was crap. I should relax.
  • With the people I meet. I can’t judge them, change them or ignore them. So instead, I will play a game and find ways love them.
  • With my finance. Great ideas offer the possibility of work, which if performed excellently, normally renders financial gain.
  • And with my art. Write it, sing it, share it, live it, believe it and leave the rest to the whim of God.

The best way to “stay afloat” is to be chubby with good cheer, instead of lean and mean … with despair.