Got the Word on it


When I was a kid, a girl walked passed me in the isle of a school bus and said something unkind to me, called me a name I think. I can’t remember what she said, only how I felt afterwards. A kid in the seat beside me quickly recited in my defense, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” “Yeah,” I said, “That’s right.” But now, all these years later, I realize that it wasn’t right. Words can hurt. In fact, they can kill, and if you let them, people will talk you to death—literally.

Words operate on a spiritual principle. Therefore, I am going to be building my position on a spiritual book, the New Testament. It is the book I know best, therefore it is the one I am using. For those not familiar, the New Testament was originally written in Greek and is an account of the life, works, words, acts and letters of Jesus and those who followed him during the first few centuries A.D. The New Testament is a collection of books, kind of like a library, written by some of the followers of Jesus during this time period.

Here is the familiar English passage from the Book of John in the King James version of the New Testament:

“In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things which were made were made by him; and without him was not anything was made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5

Now here are the lines translated from the Greek Bible. While I’ll admit that I’m no expert, I am capable of looking up words in a Greek dictionary and of breaking words apart to find roots and meanings.

At the commencement of, the onset of, the start of, the beginning of, time and all the physical universe was the thought, intent, reasoning, purpose, motive, design and plan.

And the thought, intent, reasoning, purpose, motivation, design and plan was with the Supreme Divinity, the Supreme Magistrate and Supreme Authority—the Ultimate Ruler, Lord of the Universe.

And the thought, intent, reasoning, purpose, motivation, design and plan was God, the Supreme Divinity, the Supreme Magistrate and Supreme Authority—the Ultimate Ruler, Lord of the Universe.

***Personal note: the Supreme Authority is his WORD and his WORD is the Supreme Authority and his WORD is more than a spoken sound. It is a deliberate intent, purpose, design, plan. In Genesis the story of creation tells us that God SPOKE and that his WORD created all the universe. In Colossians we are told that all things are held together by the power of his WORD. He willed it to be and that thought, will, intent, purpose, WORD is still holding it all together.

The next part of this passage in John says, “All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made.”

All things—I was surprised to discover that the word things here is actually the Greek word—RHEMA, which means an utterance, but even more, it means a LIVING WORD! Let’s go on with the rest of this verse…were made, generated, caused to become by him, the WORD, the thought, intent, purpose, mind and plan of the Supreme Divinity.

In the thought, intent, purpose, will, WORD of the Supreme Divinity, was vitality and the vitality was the luminosity of humanity. And the luminosity was seen, appeared, in the dimness, obscurity; and the dimness, the obscurity could not….”

The next few words of that verse are “comprehended it not” but the term for “comprehended” in the King James Version did not match the term in my Greek version of the Bible and I could not find the Greek version’s term in a dictionary, so I wanted to say up front that it is only the term used by the King James scholars that I am translating here, but oh, what a great word it is!

The King James scholars used a word that sounds like katalambano, which would make the passage read something like this… In the thought, intent, purpose, will, WORD of the Supreme Divinity, was vitality and the vitality was the luminosity of humanity. And the luminosity was seen, appeared, in the dimness, darkness, obscurity; and the dimness, darkness, the obscurity could not overtake, control, seize, lay hold on, find, possess, obtain, apprehend or perceive the thought, intent, purpose, plan, design, the vitality.”

So, this passage tells us that God’s WORD is alive, that it is a living entity and as a living entity, it holds together the entire universe .

Now, if we know we are created in God’s image and that his word framed the universe, then it stands to reason that our words also contain power. Let’s see what Jesus said about it, “For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall SAY unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he SAITH shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he SAITH.” Mark 11:23

Spiritual things are created by words, and not just spoken ones but the ones that live in our hearts. Physical things are also created by words. For example, I recently said to myself, just thought it very strongly really, “I wish I had some of those nice paint markers, but the things cost more than I’m willing to pay at Wal-mart.” That very DAY I was in Peddler’s Mall and there was a set of the exact markers I wanted at a third of the cost! Wow…call it coincidence. I don’t think so. I don’t know how many times I’ve wished for something only to have it manifest. On the flip side, I once heard a woman speak her daughter right into the grave and many times I’ve heard people speak themselves sick.

King Solomon once said that life and death are in the power of the tongue. In another place Jesus said, “By thy words thou shall be justified and by thy words thou shall be condemned.” Matt. 12:37

A negative mouth creates a negative environment. A fearful mouth creates a fearful environment. A positive mouth creates good things. So, my point….your words contain creative power. Oh, and back to the people who talk you to death…people who never say anything good about you or positive to you, realize that the mouth that has the most power in your life is yours! There will always be someone there to tell you that you can’t do something or that you’ll never succeed. They are what the late Joseph Campbell called dreamkillers. Ignore them and speak your own reality, the reality of the WORD.


Lesson from Bubba Birdhouse


Many years ago, when I was very young, my daddy knew how I loved birds, so he built me a birdhouse. It was a two story house for the purple martins, but they never came. I put the house in the backyard by the willow tree where the brown bats would hang late in the evening. The blue jays came and lived in the house. Then I moved. I took my birdhouse with me and put in on the trellis next to the grapevines, but still no purple martins came. A family of wrens occupied the house for several generations. Wasps occupied it, too. Then about two years ago a storm blue my beloved white birdhouse off its perch and broke the top story beyond repair. The wood was old, rotten, but I couldn’t part with my birdhouse. My daddy had built it for me because I liked birds. So, I did what any country girl would do. I downsized. That’s right. I ditched the damaged top story, put a new roof on it, painted it mustard brown, made a tin satelite and mounted it right next to the toy mailbox (Barbie didn’t need it anymore). Then I took black paint and made a sign that read, “Home of Bubba Bird.” Ironcially, a chickadee took up residence and hence Bubba became a real bird. The one-story purple martin house was now a trailer, a mobile home.

Well, I came home from work one day this past spring and there was Bubba Bird’s house. Broken and on the ground. The nest spilled out and scattered. No bird would ever live in that house again. So I piled the broken remnants beside my outbuilding, thinking that the house had finally seen its last days. But not so. Today I was looking for a piece of barn wood to paint on, to make a plaque to sell. I saw Bubba’s house and picked it up. Then I realized that the back wall was in perfect condition. I could paint on it, but alas, I could not sell it. The birdhouse that my dad made me so long ago is now a sign hanging on the porch which reads, “Come sit on my porch.” It was once a safe haven for jays, wasps and wrens. Now, it is a sign to beckon all the peace-loving souls who wander my way to sit and rest for a spell.

I have learned a lesson from the birdhouse. In a way we are like that birdhouse. No matter how damaged, how broken, we become in life, in the hands of a master artist, we will still have purpose. We will still be useful. Failure isn’t final and our lives are not over until they’re over. We shouldn’t let anyone judge us or count us out, and it looks like the birdhouse will go on being useful as a new creation for many years to come.


Too Many Chiefs


I’m not sure what propels some people to feel like they must control others and I’m not sure what causes others to feel like the person controlling them knows more than they do, but my experiences in life have taught me that no matter where I go, whether it’s to a church of any demonination, to a pow-wow, on the job, to a writer’s convention or even to work, there will always be someone who feels the need to “control”,  or to be in power. A friend of mine used to call it the Moses Complex. He said that some people feel the need to lead. They love the rush they get from seeming important or making others think they have more knowledge. The ironic thing is that most often these people are not the most qualified to be in a position of power, but they are good at intimidating and bluffing others. Sometimes they do have knowledge and qualifications but they are so domineering that they would gladly suck the life energy right out of their followers. They are like spiritual vampires. They manipulate and intimidate others into subjection. They do not want members of the clan, congregation or group to know more than they do. I once heard such a leader say that nobody in his congregation could surpass him in knowledge. He really needed to just get over himself and face the fact that he wasn’t the only one who could read or pray or sing or listen to the Spirit.

I’m just rambling a bit here, but yesterday I met two men. One was a “leader” because he was in position. He was the chief of a band. He enjoyed having others recognize him as important and defer to him before making decisions. He knew more than those in his group and wanted to make sure that everyone who aligned themselves with him knew that he knew more. I do not know how he got to be a chief, because he obiviously had not taken lessons from the greats who taught and believed that a chief must be willing to do more than he asks of his people. He did not possess a spirit of humility but of “look at me…I’m in charge. I’m the spiritual one. I know the secrets of the elders and you do not, so I am better than you are and if you do not do what I say, then I will get angry and walk away from you to show that you are not worthy to be in my presence.” Well, I guess I’m not. I cannot align myself with such a person. The other was a “leader” because he had walked a long, hard road and had found both peace and victory in his life. People just automatically gravitated toward him and looked up to him. When he spoke, humble, humorous, soft and full of wisdom, everyone listened.His hope was to share with others and make their journeys better. He had a sense of humor and was not “self-important”. Rather, he saw himself as a fellow traveler, hoping to learn as he mentored. I found myself really listening to him, even asking him questions so that I might learn more. He was a joy to meet. The beautiful thing is that there are others like him, diamonds in a box of rocks, and these people walk among us daily.

I write this because it’s too easy to let the debris and dust from the rocks cover the diamonds. The rocks are so many and the diamonds so few that we often overlook the diamonds because of a big rock, boasting self-importance.  But the diamonds are out there. So, I make this note to myself and I share it with you: Don’t let some power hungry mongrel dictate who you are, whether they be a minister, a chief, a bossy neighbor, a local politician, etc. Do what you have to do to survive if they are in charge of you, but when you get away from them, stay away. Don’t bring them home with you by talking about them over and over and dwelling on their “jerkiness.” Realize that they are have something missing within themselves and are over compenstating.

I leave my blog today with these 7 little snippets:

1. Not everyone who is bossy is truly a boss.

2. Not everyone who is in charge can really take charge.

3. Not everyone the masses vote for is worthy of the office they are given.

4. Never follow a leader who cannot follow.

5. Seek what is true, believe what is true, act on what is true and you will discover yourself and it is to yourself that you must ultimately be true.

6. It is better to be a wandering drifter than to be controlled by another’s whims.

7. God never intended for you to live your life by someone else’s blueprints.