26 characters

I love words!  (I believe I have mentioned that here before, though.)  🙂  I am captivated by learning new words; I adore learning new languages; I fancy  reading words; I adore writing words.  I simply cherish what these letters on this page represent.  I find dictionaries and thesauruses fascinating!

The 26 letters of our alphabet are rather akin to the black and white keys on the piano.  As my baby grand (a 1937 Wurlitzer that hubby bought me for Christmas several years ago!!!) sits in my dining room, no noise or beauty emanates from it.  If, however, one of us sits down and properly plays on those ivories, beautiful music proceeds forth.  We can laugh, cry, sing, and be moved by the correct usage of that beautiful piece of furniture.

The same is true for the correct usage of the 26 characters of the English language and the characters of other languages as well.  When put together properly, we have great power!  When put together improperly or crudely, we sound like idiots.  I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s quote here –

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Go, Abe!  What I REALLY wanted to share with you today, though, was someone else who truly loves words as well.  Scott Harrup is the managing editor of Pentecostal Evangel, the weekly magazine for my church’s denomination.  In his editorial on March 25 entitled “20,000 What?”, he wrote the following:

“My first-grade journey to literacy had barely progressed beyond the adventures of Tom, Betty, and Susan when Mom gave me my first ‘real’ book – Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  This wasn’t a ‘Golden Books’ condensation for kids, but a Classic Press Inc. English edition of the groundbreaking 19th century French science-fiction classic.  I attribute much of my love for science fiction today to that fortuitous, though unlikely, choice of a gift.

Prior to Verne, my reading homework included such prose pearls as, ‘Tom said, ‘Mother! Mother! Is Susan here? Is Susan at home?’  The opening of 20,000 Leagues? ‘The year 1866 was signalised by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten.’  It required the better part of two years to complete the book, with ‘phenomenon’ and many other words expanding my vocabulary.

My original, well-thumbed volume remained in Koindu, Sierra Leone, when a family tragedy during our missionary ministry forced us to return to the States in 1975 with a few hastily filled suitcases.  In 1998, my brother Blake found the same edition in a used bookstore and gave it to me for Christmas.

Mom not only prodded my personal reading, she regularly read to Blake, Obie, and me.  Most significantly, she regularly read from the Bible or from various collections of Bible stories.  With our family’s multigenerational loyalty to the King James Version, I was the recipient of a large KJV study Bible somewhere around the fourth grade.  Its Elizabethan cadences further polished my vocabulary and elocution.

In the ensuing decades, that Book – whether KJV, GNT, NASB, NIV, The Living Bible or The Message – has done far more than nudge me onward in the joys of reading.  It has shaped my soul.  It has pointed me to eternal life.  It has given wisdom for decisions large and small.”

Well stated, Mr. Harrup!  I like one thing that Book has to say about words or books, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”  (John 21:25)

Minding my morphemes,





From several weeks ago in my devotion book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:

“I am leading you, step by step, through your life.  Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting Me guide you through this day.  Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy – even precarious.  That is how it should be.  Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things.  When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine.  This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion:  doubting My promises to care for you.

Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me.  I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that.  Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go.”

Deuteronomy 29:29; Psalm 32:8

The area in bold is highlighted by me.  OUCH!  You’re welcome.  I wanted someone else to suffer with me.

Worry free,  (for this one second)


S. O. A. P.

I recently finished a college class about the Pastoral Epistles.  Our professor had us use a method for reading and journaling that was new to me.  I thought I would share it with you.  (Thank you, Dr. Loescher, for the suggestion!!)

S.O.A.P. Bible reading and journaling
SOAP is a method of Bible reading and journaling: Scripture, Observation, Application,
Prayer. It can be used with any daily Bible reading plan.
You’ll need a Bible, a journal and a pen.
S for Scripture
Open your Bible to today’s reading (according to whatever plan you are following).
Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse
that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.
O for Observation
What struck you and caught your attention in what you read? What do you think God
is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to
you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words.
A for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right
now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or
corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you
P for Prayer
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a
greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way
conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.

That’s the basics of how you do it.  Here is my entry for 1 Timothy 1 which I turned in to my professor:


“This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope.”  (1 Timothy 1:1, NLT)


While I don’t mean to be simplistic in this observation, I was completely blown away by the last four words of this one verse as I read through the first chapter of Timothy.  God gives us hope!!!  When life looks desperate and bleak, He GIVES me hope.  I have hope that He will carry me; I have hope that I will spend eternity with Him; I have hope that nothing touches me without His knowledge; I have hope that He works all things together for good.  I have hope that He is my strength and my song; I have hope that I do not have to walk one step on my own.  In summary, I have hope (and the peace that comes with hope) that the world does not possess. 


Part of 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”  I guess my application of this verse from 1 Timothy would need to be that very admonition.  I try to actively share the hope that I have in Christ Jesus with others.  This world is tough; He provides hope to continue on through the difficulties.  Through my friendships with people (saved and unsaved), I can point them to the source of my peace.  When life seems hopeless, I can share hope.  I was saved because of someone sharing hope with me.  I knew that she had something that I did not possess, and I truly wanted to know what she had.  She shared with me the hope of the Good News of the Gospel.  I want to do that same thing for others.


Thank You, Father, for the hope that ONLY You can provide.  When life seems hopeless, I can know that it is hopeful because You are God and You are hope!  Let me cling to that and remember that.  Then let me go and tell others of You and Your hope.  Thank You that You freely give us good gifts!  Thank You that You are the One “who daily loads us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah” (Psalm 68:19, KJV).

Loaded with benefits,