Conceive

Conceive: (v) to form or devise a plan

“The imaginations of a man’s heart are evil continually from his youth.”

Rather than considering this a degrading statement from the Good Book, we should understand that it is the working climate and funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
environment that exists in the interactions of human beings, as we attempt to move forward beyond our jungle roots to a lifestyle with a higher sensitivity.

What we’re working on is how we conceive things.

If every woman is just a storage house for a pair of breasts and a vagina, and every man has to be concerned about the length of his penis, as every country contends that it is the first and the best, and all religions struggle for supernal supremacy, it is a good idea to slow down and realize that since we normally conceive things in wickedness, it might be healthy to saturate ourselves in contentment and find deeper and purer motives for our actions.

We don’t have to.

We can become defensive and think that since everybody else is so rudely constructed, we must maintain our lack of civility if we want to survive.

Yet in a rock fight, the only people who escape injury are those who refuse to throw rocks, but instead, retreat to contemplate richer and more enlightened solutions.

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By-gone

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bygone: (adj) belonging to an earlier time.

Outdated.

It’s a word we use to curse any idea, event or style which is not presently considered in the prowl.

In the process, we not only decide that red is the color of the future and blue the hue of the past, but we also marginalize supernal attributes which should endure for all time, but suddenly find themselves being panned by the critics.

Some things do not belong in a by-gone era, but must be toted to our next location. I shall give you a few words that seem to be nostalgic, but are really the sign-posts of peaceful existence:

Kindness, observation, toleration, good cheer, gentleness, surprise, humility, creativity, curiosity, manners, courtly, caring, teachable, sharing, color-blind, contented.

Idealism? Most definitely.

Yet without them, virtue is gobbled by the arrogant monster of pessimism.

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Anoint

dictionary with letter A

Anoint: (v) 1. to smear or rub with oil, typically as part of a religious ceremony 2. to confer divine or holy office.

I’m not much for ceremony.

The rituals that normally happen in politics, religion or even in academia often leave me a bit befuddled and bemused.

Yet I think sometimes the absence of a sense of greater purpose being conveyed to our leaders and trend-setters leaves us with a mediocre cast of characters for the play on the stage of life.

So in that sense, I think anyone who courageously takes on the task of caring for other human beings needs to be imbued with some divine power or at least a sense that they are being energized by another source.

I know there are those who would disagree, and I appreciate their points, and understand they think humans are capable of self-motivation, without any kind of supernal intervention.

But as I view the stations of my life–that being a man, a husband, a father, a writer, a composer, a leader from time to time, and just someone who occasionally presents a new idea or two–I allow myself to become reflective about the urgency of taking what I do seriously and making sure that I pursue excellence instead of cutting myself too much slack.

For instance, our President takes an oath of office, but I don’t know how many of the men who have held that office–and hopefully the women in the future who will occupy it–actually have or will understand the gift they’ve been given, to lead this nation.

And maybe if they felt just a bit more of an anointing, they might escape the bonds of their political persuasions and take care of the people of America.

I don’t know.

There is something beautiful about laying hands on somebody’s head and believing that a gift is being imparted, one that has eternal consequences.

Of course, there is a danger of becoming over-wrought and self-involved mingled in there, too.

But as I want the President of the United States to be anointed for the job, and the ministers who preach the gospel to be touched by its message, and the fathers and mothers to feel a halo of joy over the great mission of parenting, I will set an example myself by remaining humbled, faithful and responsible … for my own calling.

 

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Alms

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alms: (n) money or food given to poor people

Unless you’re wearing a robe and walking around Galilee with a message of eternal life, the word “alms” will probably never come to play.

But I do think it’s important to understand what an alm truly is.

We live in a society where charitable giving is funneled through organizations which take their own hunk out of the generosity for office expenses and personnel.

We like this system. We enjoy it because paper is passed on to people who do the work and we don’t have to worry about it.

We never find out the destination of our alms; we never actually have a visual of the individuals who are helped. In some strange way we think this makes it even better, so our personal prejudices or time limitations are not involved in the distribution of the wealth.

But you see–that’s not really what an alm is.

An alm is a desire to find someone every day who needs something you have, and making sure that person has a name, a face and a smell–someone directly in front of you who is given the chance to do whatever he or she decides with your contribution.

Some people have a problem giving money to the homeless because they’re afraid they’ll use it for alcohol. They might. But think how angry you would be if your employer demanded a list of purchases from you which had to be approved by the main office before you were granted a paycheck.

Occasionally someone will comment that they think I am a generous soul. I just laugh. I’m just as selfish as the next bastard–so inwardly involved that I’m greedy for the sensation that I receive when I personally impart a gift to someone, see their face light up, and realize that for that moment they believe I am not only blessed of God, but have descended like an angel to bring good cheer from supernal heights.

Yes, I lust for an opportunity to “play god”–to stand face-to-face next to folks in need, granting them a piece of their missing puzzle.

We lose something when we write a check to a mega-organization which earns its grits and gravy by collecting funds from people who would rather not make physical contact.

  • I want to be the alm-giver.
  • I want to see, smell, hear and feel the sensations of those who receive the alms.
  • I want to give–not so people around me will notice–but so I notice, and for that moment, I feel there is more God in me than ghoul.