Don’t go to church

You read the title right. I’m telling you not to go to church. Do this instead: Continue reading

#church-life, #language, #mindset, #worship-services

5 pontifications that could change the world. Or not.

P. #1. One gets the impression that weather forecasting hasn’t progressed much in the last millennium. The gadget-filled weather office predicted no sun today, with rain. We’ve not a cloud in the sky, and I have to keep the door partially closed for the brightness. This is not the first time this week either. Wonder what chances a gambler would have of beating the weatherman’s odds? When the science gets good enough to get it right nine times out of 10, that’ll be a game-changer.

P. #2. I can’t get used to writing “millennium” with two l’s and two n’s. In Portuguese it has neither: milênio. Language reform, anyone? If I were to write “milenium,” would you understand? Approve? English spelling could use some cleaning up. That may take some time, however. Something we can do right now would be to reform the quality of our language with more wholesome speech. Would that make much of a difference?

P. #3. A couple’s meet this afternoon in Taubaté has me speaking. After the suffering come games and refreshments. I like to go from the general to the specific, so I think we’ll go from the character of God’s love to marital love. If we loved as God loves, would that change our marriages, our nations, our world?

P. #4. Breaking through the chatter of the Internet is a daunting and thankless task. Obviously, if I write something, the whole world ought to flock to read it, right? How we wished it worked that way! As a people interested in communication, specifically, of the gospel, we might want to take a cue from (hold your breath!) marketers. It’s about getting people’s attention. Ethically. Honestly. Directly. Or maybe we just need to study Jesus more. Would that change our approach, get people’s attention?

P. #5. Remember those tiny booklets or folded pieces of paper called tracts often found in racks hung in a church foyer or stuffed in the purses of little old ladies? Where’d they go? Collecting dust? Are forwarded emails (please don’t!) the new electronic tracts? Who has a better idea? Why can’t somebody come up with a modern version, attractive, pointed, catchy, thoughtful?

#church-literature, #jesus-christ, #language, #perspectives

Weekend Nudge: most hated cliché

What cliché do you hate the most? You know, that overused phrase, that standard reply, that combination of words that so easily falls from the lips (oops, cliché!). It may be a literary phrase, it may be a popular saying, but one that irks, annoys, or otherwise irritates you.

Remember, a cliché is a trite or overused expression or idea. When first coined, it was the cat’s pajamas. With time, it provoked yawns.

#cliches, #language, #nudge

Poor Rendering (IMHO)

The “prod” today is the rendering of a verse that seems terrible poor (at least that is how I interpreted Randal’s prompt).

I do not like the NLT on 1 Samuel 20:30, and I especially do not like it in the Living Bible. Yes, I know the latter is not a translation, but its influence is strong with some, just the same. In part it reads, “Sail boiled with rage. ‘You son of a ______!’ he yelled at him.”

The blank can be filled in. The NLT uses the word “whore” – “You stupid son of a whore!” he swore at him.”

#bible-verses, #language

The Diminishing Words

“A writer opens his toolbox and places his tools on the table, to construct a work of art. Words take form and sentences become pages. The writer labors to find the perfect word in his arsenal of vocabulary. His training, knowledge, study and reading come to bear as he struggles for perfection. His freedom of thought pours onto the page and something special takes life. Writing is a singular exercise built on the shoulders of the ages. The penman fills his toolbox with the best at his disposal. Words are his sword.”

The issue is that the vocabularies of readers are growing smaller, so writers have a smaller pool of words to choose from, as they write. What can we do about this challenge as writers of sermons/articles?

I would like to hear your thoughts.

#language, #moving-word, #vocabulary


Read this cute story in my inbox today:

Crystal, our five-year-old daughter, recently met an Amish girl her age. Within a few minutes they were off, hand-in-hand, to play. I caught glimpses of them chattering and giggling. Even though Sylvia, the Amish girl, spoke a Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, she and Crystal got along well.

Later I asked Crystal, “Could you understand anything Sylvia said to you?”

“No,” she replied.

“But you played so nicely together. How?”

“Oh, Mommy. We understood each other’s giggles.”

–Bonnie Hellum Brechill, 21st Century Christian e-Teacher Digest

Too bad that doesn’t work for the gospel …

#children, #language


What makes me laugh? Clever wordplay would be the shortest answer.  If you look at the comedies that I enjoy, that would characterize most all of them. Learning and language are two of my passions. Combining them is glorious! Humor that makes you think, employs the best of both worlds.

“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”  –  Steven Wright.

#comedy, #funny, #language