Chutzpah: (n) shameless audacity; impudence.

One man’s impudence is another man’s courage.

I’m sure the bus driver thought Rosa Parks was very impudent when she refused to move to the back of the bus during the civil rights
conflict in Alabama.

Many of my teachers thought I was impudent when I questioned practices I felt were faulty, but were still part of the “scholastic logic.”

We live in a generation where your cause is meaningless to me and my cause is sanctioned by the will of God.

Yet I would never use the word “chutzpah.” It’s not because I’m anti-Semetic (which most people under the age of twenty would define as having something against cement.)

It’s just that I find the introduction of impudence, strife or vanity only complicate my possibilities instead of enhancing them. We are a race that promotes self-esteem while greatly enamored with humility.

I realize it is possible to be too humble, but it’s a risk each one of us should take.

Because when two impudent people stand on the field of play, hurling insults at one another, boasting of their prowess, the whistle does eventually blow, beginning the game. At that point, it becomes obvious who is better trained, who has a more ingenious plan and who will endure.

One great gift you can give to yourself is to shut up, impart your gift, and see how it rates amidst the cascading efforts of others.


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Build: (v) to construct something by putting parts or material together

What should the question be?

Is it what I build?

How I build?

Where I build?

When I build?

Or why I build?

Let’s start with why I build.

I build because there’s a need. There’s an absence of a landmark which proclaims an important truth.

When I build.

Two ingredients are always necessary–labor and money. If people are not motivated to build, the money will quickly be eaten up. If the mDictionary Boney is not available, the labor will be disgruntled.

How should I build?

Without strife. I’ve seen people begin projects and absolutely destroy their relationships just because the deadline or the goal superseded the appreciation of one another.

Where should I build?

There’s an axiom that something built on rock will last longer than something built on sand. Sometimes we build on sand because we think what we built will be so appreciated that there won’t be any attacks against it. That’s a mistake. Our building should be able to withstand the onslaught of nature and critics.

And finally, what we build.

We should always build to sufficiency, with a vision for growth. We should never place a one-acre building on a one-acre property. There’s no place to go. But we should never be ashamed of a humble beginning. The secret to success is not to begin big, but rather, realistically, so people can constantly see our growth.

Yes, what should we build?

What is it we need?


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dictionary with letter A

Antipope: (n) a person established as pope in opposition to the one perceived by others to have been canonically selected.

I am not afraid to listen to ideas or read opinions that are contrary to my personal likes or philosophy.

I am certainly not impartial as I read, but I try to comprehend what is offered to me in the composition and f out if there’s anything that can stimulate my brain to greater understanding.

Yet I have to tell you this–the article I read yesterday, which postured intellectually on the legitimacy of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, was basically the same old brick-and-mortar construction that has been put forth for years to undermine the notion, or maybe even the need, for a savior.

I guess all of us, when we’re entrenched in our attitudes (which certainly borderline on sin) are greatly displeased by the concept of repentance or anyone who would even embody such a ridiculous requirement.

But it doesn’t change the need of our species to be emotionally enlightened, spiritually cleansed, mentally rejuvenated and physically inputted to our healthier good.

I will go so far as to say that believing that Jesus of Nazareth lived is essential to our well-being as we continue to search for “jesus like” people in our own generation, to confirm the promise that we are neither as self-sufficient as we believe nor as depraved.

It’s why the Catholics have a pope. And he has a hat, which means he has a human head.

And if for some reason that pope decides to be a “company man” instead of a personal adjudicator for the masses, then we create an anti-pope.

We need human beings to confirm that we’re not just a group of apes with a mortgage.

Every time a society declines into the depths, attacking spirituality and ceasing to believe that a savior, a pope, an artist or a philosopher can arise from our midst to challenge us to better ideals, we end up in war, strife and succumbing to our latent bigotries.

So if the pope don’t work, we create an anti-pope. And if he don’t work, we look for another human in our generation who still believes in the ideals of a Nazarene named Jesus. Without this, we don’t become a secular society which is free of the intimidation of religion.

No, we become lonely travelers who believe that survival is more important than compassion.


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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix


dictionary with letter A

Amiable: (adj) having or displaying a friendly and pleasant manner

My traveling partner and I discuss this all the time.

We’re constantly meeting new people, interacting with service organizations and the general public, creating a face-to-face opportunity and challenge daily.

There is one thing for certain: waiting to decide how you’re going to treat other human beings based upon either your fatigue level or your mood is not only foolish, but dangerous.

I will honestly impart to you that having a profile which you pursue faithfully and remaining “married” to it, as it were, through the good times and bad, and in sickness and health, is not only admirable, but also the only way you can survive the constant flux of society shifting its thinking based on whether we’re going to destroy one another or just manipulate one another.


We have come up with a very simple proposal or formula, if you will:

1. Always know what you want. Perhaps the most annoying thing to other human beings is asking them to guess your needs. There is a danger they will misunderstand your goals.

2. Decide what you can live with. We don’t often get exactly what we want. Even though some people think it’s a sin of conscience to have a fall-back position, I contend that when you deal with other humans, to be absent a “Plan B” is to welcome disappointment and strife.

3. Choose a face. You’re not allowed to have two. In our case, it’s a combination of warmth and professionalism. In other words, “I am so glad to meet you, but I’m fully aware of why I’m here and what my job is.”

4. And finally, don’t try to save the world. I have heard that we already have a Savior, and dying on the cross is no longer an expression of love, just over-zealous stupidity.

After all, if Nature, God, parents, employers, employees and the IRS have not changed the person standing in front of you, your best shot will probably fall short also.

Once people let you know that they are not going to be pliable, stop twisting them.

There you go.

Those four things allow Janet and myself to be amiable.

I refuse to do this journey any other way. I just pass it along to you because the advice you will get from others will be some sort of mish-mash of kick-ass or kiss-ass.

Obviously, they both put you in the wrong neighborhood.





Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAcquiescent: (adj.) a person who is ready to accept something without protest or to do what someone else wants: e.g. the unions were acquiescent and there was no overt conflict.

I sat and stared at that word for at least ten minutes.

I tried to imagine a climate or situation where being acquiescent had completely positive overtones. I understand that we believe it does.

For instance, I remember that when I had teenage sons I often wanted them to be acquiescent. But looking back on it now that they are all grown, I see that their lack of compliance was often the signal of a creative explosion within them which was NOT grounded in rebellions, but rather, was ordained by the priest of inspiration.

  • Is it possible to be acquiescent and be strong?
  • How about acquiescent and driven?
  • Acquiescent and earth-changing?
  • Acquiescent and a true son of God?

I just don’t know.

Certainly there are times when I want to be the peace giver and the peace provider for situations which are rife with volatility. But actually, these occasions are so rare that it’s barely worth bringing up. Most of the time there needs to be a strength that is baptized in mercy, anointed with resolve and willing to express grace.

But that’s not really acquiescent, now, is it?

When I think of acquiescent, I think of a span of nearly forty years in this country–from 1820 to 1860–when political men of good will allowed for slavery to continue in an attempt to keep everything running on an even keel and to avoid the horror of conflict and war. They compromised. They allowed a whole generation of black Americans to be born, to live, to suffer and die in chains in order to maintain an amiable, uneasy peace.

It was not destined to be.

There you go. Acquiescence only works when we are destined to give in to an inevitable truth. To give in to a lie in order to prevent upheaval is not acquiescence.

It’s just cowardly.