Concordance

Concordance: (n) an alphabetical list of the words in a text

There was a season in my life’s journey when I wanted to be a “Reverend.” Not just a minister or preacher, but an actual, full-fledged cleric.

I liked the sound of it. “Reverend.”

At that time, my immature, jealous spirit was anxious to be recognized for doing nothing while having a title. To accentuate this need and punctuate its funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
possibility, I bought myself the “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.”

I immediately realized why it had the name “Strong” and “Exhaustive.” To just carry the thing required you to be built like an ox.

I located some churches to pontificate spiritual lessons (in other words, preach sermons) so I opened up my Exhaustive Concordance and found words I wanted to share about, and discovered where they were peppered and placed all over the Bible, and then spent all my time trying to pull together these abstract texts–which were thousands of years apart–and create a cohesive message.

It was “inspiration by committee”–the inspiration being anything anybody could get out of my mish-mash and the committee being a host of ancient Bedouin writers who happened to mention my favored word in some favored way.

It is a horrible way to share truth, persisting to this day.

As I lost my interest in the word “Reverend,” and most of my need to evangelize through my sermonizing, I soon discovered that I no longer needed a concordance.

I just needed to share my life–good and bad–and in so doing, become much more enlightening.

And much less exhaustive.

 

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Compromise

Compromise: (n) an agreement reached by each side making concessions.

Dinner chatter.

I’m speaking of those conversations that occur after a fine meal, while some sip on wine and others lick their cheesecake fork.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

These are the moments when people feel the need to wax philosophical while simultaneously appearing to be extraordinarily open-minded.

So one person shares his or her opinion and another adds detail, being very careful not to contradict, but instead, enhance.

By the end of the exchange, a summary is formed in which everyone’s sentiments are included in some capacity–almost like a discussion scrapbook.

The host or hostess often conclude by saying things like:

“Well, I’m sure all the political parties have something good to share since they all love America.”

Or:

“Even though we should be sensitive to each other’s cultures and respect difference, there is no race left out or creed dispelled.”

Or one of my favorites:

“It would seem that all paths lead to God and each one of us selects a profile literally tailored to our soul.”

We love compromise.

Matter of fact, in the American system, compromise is considered more sacred than authenticity. For years and years we’ve rejected obvious truth to make sure we did not offend anyone in the room.

Let me tell you something about the path to God:

It demands truth on our inward parts, and in no way, shape or form are we to distinguish, isolate or even separate off into groups–because God is no respecter of persons.

 

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Coloration

Coloration: (adj) a specified pervading character or tone of something.

Maybe Paul Simon was right in his song, “Kodachrome.” Everything looks worse in black and white.

That certainly was in the mind of those individuals who started adding color to movies.

I remember the first time I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” with color enhancement. I don’t know if I was in an obsessive mood or if the hues were not true, but
during the final scenes, I kept wondering why Jimmy Stewart (Mr. George Bailey) was wearing a lavender shirt.

I tried to keep my mind off of it, but there was a portion of me that just believed that a mauve color on that character was odd.

In like manner, when I watch television and they talk to me about “color commentary”–adding coloration to the news–it always surprises me that their choices are orange, crimson and fuchsia.

There was a certain warmth to black and white movies–the sniff of sincerity. Maybe it was the simplicity of believing we were getting the truth handed to us in black and white.

Sometimes color is just color–and not enlightening.

And often coloration is a fear of taking something that might seem drab and energizing it with joy.

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Colander

Colander: (n) a perforated bowl used to strain off liquid

The key is in finding the secret.

For instance, the secret to good lasagna is the cheese blend.

The secret to good pizza is a toss-up between the crust and the sweetness of the sauce.

The secret to good sex is to make sure the woman has an orgasm before the man pursues his.

The secret to spirituality is to read less, be more.

The secret to politics is to tell the truth.

Which brings me to the secret for spaghetti. (You may not see any particular clarity in the path I’ve taken, but here we are.)

The secret to spaghetti is the colander.

Some would insist it is the texture–preferring al dente–but spaghetti can have perfect texture, but still cling to too much water, making the sauce ineffective.

The colander allows you to shake off the extra moisture, which puts the spaghetti on your plate drier and more able to make love with the cheese and tomatoes. Anybody who has ever tried to make spaghetti without a colander always finds that at the bottom of the pan is a whole bunch of liquid that hangs around to steal the taste.

Sometimes I wish I could be thrown into a colander and shaken around–just to get rid of all the extra meaningless residue. Of course, I would never fit into a colander, and the shaking would probably kill me.

So I shall not do that. I promise.

 

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Cohort

Cohort: (n) a group of people banded together

I have a son who’s convinced that I am becoming more conservative as I get older.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Age has done one thing and only one thing for me–it has insisted that I be practical.

It stands over me, often in a threatening pose, barking in my ear that the plans I had made to do something beyond my physical abilities are not filled with initiative, but rather, reek of stupidity.

I become more and more astounded with the simplicity of the statement, “Those that are not against us are for us.”

Therefore, mankind is my cohort, and I, its.

I am looking for reasons to enjoy the people around me instead of tagging them as enemies to be avoided.

Every time I read something, I find one little tiny nugget of valuable common sense. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Bible or the Communist Manifesto–each document has a golden gleam which makes its writing valuable and worthy of human hearing.

But also, each document is chock-full of filler–statements thrown in, sometimes as afterthoughts and often in ignorance.

So when a Republican talks, I listen for sense. Likewise, when a Democrat shares, I probe the speech for reasonability. In the process of doing this, I find myself making more friends and being far less critical.

Recently a friend asked what I thought about a song that was being touted on the Internet. I replied, “They started on the same beat, didn’t miss a lyric and ended in pitch.”

There’s a lot to be said for that. It is a fine beginning for discussion. But often, humans will find one word within the body of the poetry which they consider distasteful, and relegate the entire presentation to being hellish nothingness.

A cohort of critics.

How boring.

How boorish.

How stubborn

How meaningless.

I found out some time ago that the world never gets anything right. Celebration occurs when the effort comes close.

 

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Coherent

Coherent: (adj) a logical theory

A common weakness in those who take pen to paper (though there actually is no pen or paper anymore), who fancy themselves to be writers is the tendency to become exasperated with the reader when he or she pulls up mentally lame–incapable of grasping a deep point or drooling over a clever turn of words.

Actually, to become a good writer, you must “de-brat” yourself. In other words, have the brat removed without losing the childlike quality of simplifying human truth to concepts which are easily grasped. Therefore, don’t put too many steps in your process.

Yesterday I saw an article that advertised “31 Things to Do to Make Your Life Better.” I, for one, am overwhelmed with the notion of Baskin Robbins having thirty-one flavors, let alone remembering them in any sequential order.

Coherence also demands that we use understandable language instead of historical wording. Some words, phrases and ideas are dead. I don’t know if they will ever be resurrected, but presently they are stinking in a tomb.

Just don’t use them. Avoid getting angry with the populace because they’re unfamiliar with your jargon.

And being coherent certainly requires the grace to adjust your thinking when someone finds the flaw in your figuring. No matter how good you may think you are when putting together a respectable thesis, there will always be something you forget.

Rather than losing your cool over being challenged, warm yourself to the idea of learning from your mistakes.

Coherent is when smart meets flexible and they have a child called wisdom.

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Close

Close: (adj) not separated by distance, or a family member

When I am close but fall short, I immediately decide to find the person who is close to me.

Here’s the truth: close is not good enough.

Doing your best rarely fills the need. Attempts to rationalize only bring about comical excuses which generate private laughter from your
critics and too much sympathy from your friends.

If we’re going to live lives where we “come close,” then we need someone to be close to. This person needs to tell us the truth. They need to praise when we achieve our purposes, and point out when our cowardice, laziness or procrastination send us to the end of the line, to try again.

We are part of the human race. “All have fallen short.” So says the patriarch.

Since we are guilty of failing to make the edge, we need someone edgy in our lives, to help us discover how to do it better the next time. Otherwise, we do it again, but with less vigor because of nervous energy, or we develop a reason not to attempt a second effort.

We will be close so we need someone close.

That’s as simple as life is.

And if for some reason, we’re unable to hear the tender suggestions of that friend, then we will spend all of our time wallowing in a self-satisfied nothingness.

Let’s not do that.

Come close? Then draw close.

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