Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Power of One Vowel


"The verbs for a particular African language consistently end in one of three vowels...i, a, and u."  But the word for "love" was only found with i and a.  Why no u?"

The missionary asked the most influential community leaders.  "Could you dvi your wife?"
Yes, that would mean that the wife had been loved, but the love was gone. 

Could you dva your wife?
Yes. That kind of love depends on the wife's actions.  She would be loved as long as she remained faithful and cared for her husband well. 

Could you dvu your wife?
 Of course not!, They all laughed.  If you said that, you would have to keep loving your wife no matter what she did, even if she never got you water and never made you meals. Even if she committed adultery, you would have to just keep on loving her. No, we would never say, dvu. It just doesn't exist. 

The missionary sat quietly for a while, thinking about John 3:16, and then he asked, "Could God dvu people"?

There was complete silence for three of four minutes; then tears started to trickle down the weathered faces of the elderly men of the community. 

Finally, they responded, "Do you know what this would mean? This would mean that God kept loving us over and over, while all that time we rejected His great love. He would be compelled to love us, even though we have sinned more than any people."

Changing one vowel changed the meaning from, "I love you based on what you do and who you are" to "I love you based on who I am. I love you because of me and not because of you."

Encoded in this African language, but unused for centuries, lay a perfect picture of Christ's unconditional love.  Ethnos360

In the English language there is only one word for love.  We use it to express all kinds of things we love, I love my husband, I love potato chips, I love my cat, I love whatever.  We don't change any of the letters in the word to express our love for different things.  In almost every other language they have several word variation for love. 

One of the Hebrew words for "love" is hesed, (pronounced kheh=ed ), which is actually a difficult word to translate into English.  That is because there is a range of meaning for hesed, which means a completely undeserved kindness and generosity.  Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love (hesed) for will not be shaken.   Hesed is not just a feeling, but an action. It "intervenes on behalf of loved ones and comes to their rescue". 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  

Monday, October 11, 2021


I am into my 74th year by tenth months, two
weeks, and a few days day so there is a lot of, "day after's" , that have passed. Which is why I like this quote because it's so easy to lose sight of a day after in the middle of a struggle.

Just the reminder of Sept 11th, 2001, that horrible day is a good example to

think about how many mornings we have woke up since that fateful day. Every day, in the last 20 years we have woke up to a new day. Some of those days are filled with the memories of horrible events but some of those days are been good ones too.

There was time I did not think I would survive the abusive home I grew up in. Thank God there was a day after for that part of my life. God has healed those emotional wounds and used them to help others.

Getting married and having children was the goal of my life. It took 12 years of marriage and 6 miscarriages to have our first child.

Some of us think holding on to our loss makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go. – Herman Hesse

Remembering and holding on are two different ways of handling the pain of loss. Listening and reading testimony after testimony from those who lost someone on 9/11 was encouraging in this way. Most told of how they had went on with life, changed into a new normal. Of course they would wish those they lost back, wished that awful day did not happen. Of course. They're days after, became something to thank God for, a day to be more loving, more aware of others, tp became focus in searching for a purpose for the rest of our days. There is a progression to loss and grief.

The bible is clear, there is a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance, and a time to die. Life goes on no matter how we deal with the pain. Our days when we mourned are some of the most teachable times we have. Our hearts are raw from the pain and we just want it to go away, for things to go back to what was before the hurt hit. If we live in the day our pain started and do not travel to the day after we will be miserable and those around us miserable too.

Loss and grief is a normal part of life and there is lots of helps from those who have lived past their pain. Loss escapes no one. Everyone faces some kind of loss as they journey through this world. There is no loss so great that God cannot reach and help us with.

en Someone You Love is Dying by Kopp, R. & Sorenson, S. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan (1985).

When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Kushner, Harold Schocken Books (1981).

Learning to Say Good-bye: When a Parent Dies by LeShan, Eda New York: Avon (1988).

Remembering with Love: Messages of Hope for the First Year of Grieving and Beyond. by Levang, E. & Ilse, S. Minneapolis, MN: Deaconess Press (1992).

Mind over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by D. Greenberger & C.A. Padesky (New York: The Guilford Press, 1995).

Seven Choices: Taking the Steps to a New Life after Losing Someone You Love by Neeld, E. New York: Delacorte (1992).

How to go on Living When Someone You Love Dies by Rando, Therese New York: Bantam (1991).

Beyond grief: A Guide for Recovering From the Death of a Loved One. by Staudacher, C. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger (1987).

Necessary Losses by Viorst, Judith New York: Fawcett Gold Medal (1986).

Saturday, October 2, 2021


What the dictionary says a promise is:

  • promise (noun) a verbal commitment by one person to another agreeing to do (or not to do) something in the future
  • promise, hope (verb) grounds for feeling hopeful about the future “there is little or no promise that he will recover”

It would be easier to write about the promises made to me that have been broken. But I cannot do that without thinking about the promises I have made and did not keep.

Matthew 5:33-37 –  “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

First, promising something an not coming through with it hurts relationships. When we don’t keep our promises it destroys trust and trust is what healthy relationships are built upon
Honesty helps us grow in our relationships with Christ and with others
Eph. 4:15 – Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

I read this today and conviction sliced to the core of my heart. Because Christ lives in me, I want to be known as a person who keeps her promises and does not lie.

Ask yourself these questions:

“Who has not been startled to hear yourself say something that is an exaggeration without even thinking about it. It is not that you began the conversation with the intention of saying something that was not quite true, but before you knew it you found yourself embellishing a story.

Are you honest about your age?
Have you been thoroughly honest with your taxes?
Have you ever been dishonest about the time you claimed you worked, or not given an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage?
Have you ever cheated on a test?
Have you ever lied to get out of trouble?
Have you ever complimented someone when you didn’t mean it?
Have you ever kept silent when you should have told the truth?
Made yourself appear better than you are?
Lied to gain an advantage or get your way?
Misled someone to save face?”

Eph. 4:25 – Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor…)

Knowing I have failed at times to be honest, and true to my word makes me grateful for His grace. He makes it possible to not live under condemnation through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, His Son. He died for the times I fail to keep my promise and gives me chance after chance to right it and try again.

Let me close with two quotes that I think are profound.

No legacy is so rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson