Crop

Crop: (n) the produce from the ground.

As the piercing tones of the political pundits wrangle with one another over decibel level, it never occurs to anyone that the United States of America cannot be compared to any other place, because unlike these other locations, this nation has a heart, a soul, a mind and a body.

Without understanding this, you begin to believe that you can nurture the mind of America while ignoring the heart, soul and body—or foolishly believe that you can honor the soul and ignore the other parts of innovation.

During my nearly thirty-five years of travel across the country, stopping off in villages, towns or bustling cities, I immediately understood the crop that comes from the soil of this great nation.

America has heart.

It has emotion. If you live on the coasts, you may think that the middle states are agrarian and backward. Matter of fact, there are people who would not even know what the word agrarian means because they consider it backward.

On the other hand, if you land somewhere deep in Nebraska, the antics of the West Coast may be discussed over the dinner table with a sneer and a frown, as those huddled around faithfully consume their biscuits and butter.

You cannot love this country, its people, its purpose, nor envision its destination without traveling to its heart, musing over its soul, mulling its mind and allowing the body to bring strength to the economics and the gross national product.

What is the crop of America?

  • Iowa believes it’s corn.
  • Silicon Valley in California would insist it’s technology.
  • The Ivy League schools on the East Coast would certainly extol the importance of higher education.
  • And those who dwell in the South will spend hours testifying of the importance of family, devotion and hospitality.

It is difficult for us to be at war with each other.

We need one another so intensely that we end up really fighting ourselves.

So when I drove my van into beautiful downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with corn fields and soybeans surrounding my journey, I knew I was in for an evening of warmth, reflection and conservative reaction to new ideas. They were never averse to progress—just wanted to make sure that no sacred lanes were destroyed to make super-highways.

When I went down to Lebanon, Tennessee, I was fully aware I was in for an evening of a probable potluck dinner, some hand clapping and folks who were frightened that they might lose the spirit of their faith by accepting too much of what, for them, seemed abnormal.

In a journey out to Palo Alto, California, surrounded by the students and faculty of Stanford University, my heart was engorged with the explosive energy of learning, experimenting and researching to find answers to problems that plague the populace.

And then, finding myself weeks later in New York City, I watched the ships come and go, feeding an economy which generates the crop of prosperity, making the whole landscape well-funded.

What is the crop of America?

It is the freedom to have a heart, a soul, a mind and a body—and to treasure each and every part.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Advertisements

Cronkite

Cronkite, Walter: 1916–2009, U.S. newscaster. 

He had the right look to calm our prejudices.

The perfect voice to allay our fears.

A coiffed mustache to parallel favorite uncle.

And a serious tone to let us know he knew the hell what he was talking about.

We never could confirm if he was a Republican or a Democrat. He felt that his political leanings were inconsequential—even detrimental in delivering the news.

He cried once, when a President was shot.

And he beamed like a proud father when he saw American brothers walking on the moon.

His name was Walter Cronkite.

We don’t have anyone like him, basically because we’ve decided that people who bring us the news events from around the world need to be pretty, opinionated, over-bearing, caustic and political.

It would be difficult for the younger generation to imagine a “newsman.” They are accustomed to talking heads, pundits and rating whores.

When there was no 24-hour news cycle, but there was a need to know what was going on in the world, millions of Americans invited one man into their homes, through their singular television set which sat in the living room in a corner, offering three channels.

This man was Walter Cronkite.

We don’t know if he had fetishes, affairs or a history of juvenile delinquency. It wasn’t because he was secretive. It was because Mr. Cronkite did not believe that he mattered—only that he accurately, truthfully, and dispassionately delivered the update of what was going on in our world.

He was a treasure. He is still a treasure.

And through the miracle of video tape, he can be viewed by some of the young news gatherers, who might just gain credence by personally taking on a revival of his spirit.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Coronado, Francisco

Coronado, Francisco: A Spanish explorer of the sixteenth century who traveled through the southwestern United States searching for the legendary “seven gold cities of Cibola.”

I don’t know whether people avoid studying history because they think it’s boring, or if deep in their hearts, they fear that if they have the funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
information of the mistakes done by others who lived before them, they become responsible for the knowledge.

History has always been one of my favorite subjects—mainly because, in the scope of a few paragraphs you can discover what one human being wanted to do, what they attempted and what happened.

Pretty impressive.

Otherwise you’d have to wait years to study the conclusions—but the history books honestly summarize human pursuit.

And universally, those who set out to find wealth and fame usually ended up in poverty, dying at the hands of those who were disappointed in following them.

But Coronado is particularly interesting. He heard the rumors from Indian tribes, telling him there were “seven lost cities” filled with gold and treasure, somewhere out there in the wilderness of what we now refer to as the Southwest United States.

You can imagine how doubtful his men would have been when they got to New Mexico and Arizona and saw nothing but desert and cacti.

What Coronado set out to do he never accomplished:

  • He never found gold in cities.
  • He never discovered wealth.
  • And his life seemed to be a great disappointment.

The only reason he is even mentioned in today’s history books—and also in this dictionary—is that while he was seeking that which could not be found, he stumbled upon something very significant which he was not seeking.

One day he and his men happened upon the Grand Canyon.

It certainly wasn’t golden and didn’t possess a treasure which could be carted off and turned into lasting wealth.

But it was certainly beautiful.

It was a carving which Nature had performed through millions of years, to give God a present for the raw material provided.

And it is a gift God gives to us—to remind us that treasure does not always glitter. Sometimes it just exists in natural beauty … to take our breath away.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Byway

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Byway: (n) a road or track not following a main route

Introspection is beneficial as long as we’re not afraid of discovering untended wounds.

They are there.

They annoy us, but unless we track them down and identify the pain, generally speaking, we assume that we are trapped in our destiny.

Somewhere on the highway of life, we all get hurt. The speed limit is just too fast. People are trying to get to their destination and don’t mind being rude. There aren’t enough rest areas, stop-offs or gasoline stations to keep us safe and well-attended.

We become cynical. The road continues without seeming purpose, except for the dissolving of mile markers.

That’s why I tell you that nothing good ever happened in my life on the highway. Everything of quality that has been brought into my soul appeared on the by-way.

Those times when I had the courage to depart the majority opinion or the flock of determined sheep, and exit to find my own thoughts and grazing, I birthed something of quality.

You see, it’s not that small towns are better than large towns. It’s just that there are too many roads that flow into the big city. Traffic control becomes more important than people’s feelings. When there is only one blinking light in town, you stop because you want to look both ways. You’re not trying to avoid delay, but instead, appreciating the chance to test your brakes and peek around.

It was Frost who talked about “the road less taken.”

It was Jesus who warned us of the dangers of the “broad path which leads to destruction.”

If we really do believe that life has a quality to it, then we should be in search of that treasure. If we think the journey on Earth is a perpetual popularity contest, then we’ll probably avoid the byways–and in so doing, find ourselves crammed up in traffic, cursing the nearby competitors.

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

 

 

Bunny

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bunny: (n) a rabbit, especially a young one.

It seemed completely implausible.

I have no idea where my parents found it–but it was a box containing forty-eight chocolate-covered marshmallow bunnies.

It was given to me as my Easter present when I was ten years old.

I had an immediate dilemma. I would have no problem eating all forty-eight in one sitting, even though I wouldn’t have been able to rise. But I wanted to pretend I was making them last.

Also, I had one little quirk when it came to chocolate-covered bunnies. I don’t like them soft and mushy, but just a little bit chewy–so you have to bite on them and pull a bit before the head separates from the torso. To achieve this, the bunnies must be willing to sit around, uneaten, for several days.

I took the box and hid it in my closet underneath some books. My thought was that needing to remove the books to get to the bunnies might prevent me from gorging.

The theory was incorrect. Turns out I was more than happy to remove some volumes to get to the treasure.

So by the time my bunnies reached their perfect texture, I only had two left.

That was on Monday afternoon. That would have been one day after Easter.

So the next year I asked my parents to buy my box of bunnies a week early before presenting them to me. For some reason they took offence to this.

I got no box of bunnies that year.

What I received was a seven-inch-tall rabbit, which was supposed to be solid chocolate, and ended up being full of air.

Thus the promises of life.

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

 

 

Briefcase

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Briefcase: (n) a flat, rectangular container, typically made of leather

Mine was an old, cheap, black variety, torn places all over the fake leather, with bent hinges.

It was my briefcase.Dictionary B

I carried it officiously, thinking it made me look…well, I guess, important.

When I began writing my first novel, I made sure that every time I stopped typing (yes, this was back in the day when we actually used typewriters) every page was placed meticulously, nestled into my briefcase of safe-keeping.

I was so proud.

I had actually written maybe a third of my first great American manuscript when one night, somebody broke into my van and for some inexplicable reason, stole the knobs off my radio–and lifted my briefcase.

I didn’t have anything in there except the first draft of this work and some pictures my kids had drawn of sunsets and oddly-shaped horses.

It was totally useless to the person who stole it, but to me it was gold. I felt like I had lost part of my life.

The idea of having to start over again to regain the energy and thoughts already spilled out onto paper seemed extraordinarily arduous, if not impossible.

Fortunately for me, a friend who had been retyping the material had kept her old copies. Therefore, all of the inspiration which had poured from my heart was salvaged.

Once I received that reprieve from the prison of my fears, I gained a little sense of humor about the whole affair.

I wondered what the thief thought when he pried open that briefcase, thinking he might find treasure, and discovered 102 pages … of poorly-typed novel.

 

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


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

Basilica

Basilica: (n) a building similar to a Roman basilica, used as a Christian church.Dictionary B

The battle will always rage.

It is the confrontation introduced by Judas to Jesus when he felt that the Master was foolishly spending money on unnecessary expenses instead of giving alms to the poor.

Honestly, as ridiculous as it is to spend a lot of funds on appearances, it is equally annoying to stand on the corner and lament the choices of others.

Here’s an easy rule I use in my life when deciding if I need a “basilica”–in other words, some edifice or evidence of my success and prowess. I ask this question all the time, and find it most beneficial. I use it for small things and for large decisions, and I find that if I’m candid, I always come up with the right answer, which enables me to avoid unnecessary financial loss, and usually dodge criticism from those who are ready to dole it out free of charge.

Here’s the question: Is this really necessary?

  • I do it with my time.
  • I do it with my family.
  • I do it with my underwear drawer.
  • I do it with my socks.
  • I do it with my car.

When you stop and simply ask yourself if the latest whim to build a basilica is actually going to adv ance your cause, or just burden it with debt, you’ll be astounded at how quickly your common sense will leap forward, attempting to take back control.

Even though I have many opinions on how money is misspent or how it should be given out in larger portions, ultimately it is up to the holder of the treasure … to decide what measure. 

Donate Button

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

*******************
Don’t let another Christmas go by without purchasing Jonathan’s bestselling Christmas book!

Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.

"Buy