It may seem like a silly thing to you, but I am bothered and slightly alarmed by a trend I see in writing these days.
We've taken away God's capital letters.
I first noticed it years ago when I switched from my New American Standard Bible to my New International Version. Let me show you what I mean. Compare these two versions of Matthew 19:1-2
NASB: And it came about that when Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee, and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them.
NIV: When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
Catch the difference? Every pronoun that refers to Christ is capitalized in the NASB. Not so in the NIV. Why?
I've noticed it in books and articles too. It's probably been standard procedure for quite some time now, but it just doesn't seem right. Rarely do you see a pronoun that refers to God capitalized anywhere any more (Well, except for my "rebel" blog). I admit I haven't kept up on the latest changes in acceptable writing style. I just found out last May it is correct to use only one space after a period. The woman leading the seminar said very casually, "We help writers keep up to date with the latest things, like how you can be quickly identified as an amateur by using two spaces after a period." (So I was a hack. Great. WHO changes these things anyway?) It used to be that God and any word used for Him got top billing, the big letter. It was His identifying characteristic, like the big "S" on Superman's cape. Why the change?
I don't like it. I don't like it at all. It scares me because it feels like we're displacing God from His diety. It seems like a line in the sand we've smudged and moved. As a former educator, I know society often swings like a pendulum on these things, but this is too important to shrug off as a trend, isn't it? I find it interesting there is never any need to get rid of the capital in the word "I". Hmm. . .wonder why that is.
Yes, I know I'm "old school" and I've probably revealed too much of my naivete as well, but it irks me. Who are we to take God's capital away, even if it's just a pronoun? I'm hoping to get some explanation from you editor types (Rachelle G., are you reading this?!). I need your help. What's the harm in honoring Him with His own special designation?
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
I have decided to start a little tradition of my own, sharing my favorite post of the week on Fridays and giving it my "Note of Distinction." The first recipient is Ann Voskamp of The Holy Experience of Listening.
Those of you who have read my blog for a while will remember I have a "condition" that disables me at times. I was diagnosed this summer with WBS--Whiny Baby Syndrome.
Last night Ann's wise words about pressure were salve to my wounds, medicine for my soul, a cast for my brokenness (one side effect of WBS is a tendency to embellish). I just had to share it with you.
Congratulations, Ann. Your words struck a chord with me.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
~ Madame Jeanne Guyon ~
I've never been a big fan of those "Read Through the Bible in A Year" programs, mostly because I've never been able to do it. I lose steam pretty quickly. The furthest I've ever gotten was Deuteronomy, which I thought was pretty good considering the minutia you have to endure to get that far--stuff about mildew (yep, it's really there in Leviticus 13 and 14) and descendants of tribes with names I can't come close to prounouncing and offerings for specific sins on specific days prepared specific ways. I'm not even Jewish and it makes me want to say, "OY!" Whenever I try to stick to such an ambitious plan, I find myself reading for the sake of reading, checking it off the to do list, doing it out of obligation, not a sincere desire to know God.
I'm not knocking those who have the self-discipline and determination to do it. My own daughter, so mature for her nearly fourteen years, is right on schedule, putting me to shame. There is great power in scripture. The more you are familiar with, the better, as far as I'm concerned. I commend and admire those of you who have the fortitude to get through it in a year. I'd like to think I have read the entire Bible, albeit somewhat haphazardly, but I can't say for sure. Should I be ashamed of that for my thirty years as a Christian?
In my defense, let me say scripture becomes a treasure when I soak it in and let it permeate, when I mull it over. Verses become food for me, real sustenance, when they are so much a part of me they are like lifelines, reminding me of Truth in every situation. Therein lies their sweetness. A friend recently gave me one of the best compliments I've ever received. She attends a Bible study I am a part of and told me I was like a tea bag. "It's fun to watch your thought process," she said, "You can see the stuff you are learning seeping into every part of your thinking." Thank You, Lord. That's what I want, to have You and Your Word seeping in, making me easier to swallow. (HT to MiPa whose post reminded me of my friend's words.)
So sip deeply and savor, my friends. God's Word is supposed to be our nectar, for "man does not live on bread alone but on every word word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." That's in Deuteronomy. Told you I got that far.
Thanks to Laurel Wreath for hosting this week's "In Other Words".
Sunday, February 18, 2007
These words from others got my wheels spinning this week. Bon appetit!
"I lost my religion two years ago."
". . .can there be life without risk? Did God take a risk by creating man with a free will? Did He know of the horrors that would follow?" (I don't want to get clobbered by the copyright police. I've got to give credit for this one to Ted Dekker.)
"Why don't Christians want to think outside the box? If we don't use our minds, aren't we just following the law? "
"I don't know where God fits in my life. I believe in Him and know He has worked. I just don't know where He fits right now."
"It is important to remember that not everyone will understand, or connect or enjoy what we do. But, there is someone out there who God will touch through it. Just take the message of the gospel for example. It is a stumbling block, it is convicting, it is joy, it is freedom it is embraced wholeheartedly and it is rejected vehemently . It is the most important and heart felt message in history. We can expect no less from our tiny personal message."
Friday, February 16, 2007
I realize I've been brooding some lately, so let me assure you not to panic as you read this title. No intervention or white-coated men carrying straight jackets is necessary. Keep reading. You'll see what I mean.
As I've been contemplating this week what God was thinking in establishing earth and putting me on it, this quote from Showdown by Ted Dekker caught my attention.
"The world lives in a dungeon. It's dark and cold and full of the worst, but it's where the world lives. Most well-meaning books do little to illuminate the way. What we're doing here requires a view of the dungeon. Do you understand? It's the only way to bring hope to the dungeon."
I may not like the tough stuff. Okay, I HATE the tough stuff. I don't like pain and misunderstanding and conflict and sucking it up when I'd rather let loose. I get tired of being stable and dependable and responsible. But like it or not, I'm living in a dungeon. I can't ignore it. As hard as it is, I have to look at the darkness and pain. How can I shed light on what I haven't seen?
God has chosen us--not to sing Kum Bah Yah and feel comfortable, but to be His light bearers. For that light to be seen, it has to go into the dark. Our world, our dungeon needs hope.
But don't worry. We do not walk in alone. God says, "I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed , for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Walk on in the dark, my friends, bearing His light.
Photo courtesy of wabana.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
”O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go”
“O Love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee.
I give Thee back the life I owe
that in Thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be.”
Thank You, Lord.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Photo credit to jbelluch.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
~ Richard Cecil ~
I'm feeling grouchy today.
And downright depressed.
Can I be honest? I'm tired of God's training program. I don't feel cut out for it. There is too much pain on earth, too much to worry about, too many people with needs, too much to do. I completely understand living here is God's way of preparing us for heaven, but what do you do when you're ready to leave earth, when it feels like you don't have the guts for it anymore? Honestly, if I didn't feel such responsibility for my kids, I'd beg Him to take me home now.
But God is all-knowing. He KNOWS we're going to feel like this sometimes. He knows us so much better than we know ourselves. So I wonder, how does this pain prepare us for eternity? How does this make our souls ready for an everlasting future with Him?
There is no way to know. Dang, that chaps my hide!!!! Yet again, God says, "Trust Me." Hmm. . .a moment of decision. Of course I will choose Christ. Because I love God so much and know life without Him would be unbearable, I will trust Him. I will believe He is working for my best. I will anticipate with great longing my eternal home, but I can't give up here. I will keep doing what He has asked me to do. I will reach for Him in my darkness and press on in His grace.
Sing a little chorus with me to our Lord, would you?
"There is none like You.
No one else can touch my heart like You do.
I could search for all eternity long and find
there is none like You."
He is worth the pain. He is my sustainer. I will get through. Thank You, Lord Jesus.
Visit Finding Joy in the Morning to see what other women thought about this quote.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Twenty-one years ago today, my husband asked me to marry him. Poor guy. I've never made it easy on him.
We were both poor college students and had talked about getting married, but our economic status did not seem favorable. February 9th was a Sunday that year. We had gone to church with his parents in the evening and were about to head on back to campus when he insisted we stop at their house for a while. This was a bit irritating to me. I was tired and probably had some studying to do. To make matters worse, his parents dropped us off and said they needed to get gas. I didn't understand their urgency (I would later) and in my mind this was only going to delay our departure, further aggravating me. We walked into their house and I headed straight for their couch, literally letting my body fall face first into it, hoping they would hurry so we could say our proper goodbyes and be on our way.
A short time later, Kevin was leaning down next to my head saying, "Tami, will you marry me?"
I thought this was another one of those times we dreamed about the day we could finally get married, all talk with no resolution in sight. Without even looking at him, my face buried in the couch, I said, "I am REALLY NOT in the mood for this tonight."
"No, really," he said, "I've got a ring and everything."
Needless to say, my mood drastically changed.
And here we are, twenty-one years later. I'm better. He's better. WE'RE better. God is so good.
Thanks for your patience with my ever changing moods, honey, both then and now. And thanks for asking. I've never regretted saying yes. I'll always love you.
Photo courtesy of DJOtaku.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I have a big problem.
I am too concerned about what other people think.
I hate it when someone doesn't like me. I can't stand it when someone doesn't approve. A sour look can drive me crazy wondering what I've done wrong to cause it.
I know I'm not supposed to win the approval of men, but of God. (Galatians 1:10) I know I'm supposed to work for the Lord and not for men. (Colossians 3:23) I know this in my head, but when I sense disapproval it hurts.
It is especially painful for me among my spiritual family. Even Christians don't always see things the same. I know it's okay. We can't all be the same and reach a hurting world. Our unique experiences and personalities help us relate to a variety of people. I can get that in my head, but find it so discouraging in reality. There are/will be fellow Christians who don't approve of me. OUCH! I can hardly take that. I know it is easy to misunderstand and fail one another. I've done it many times and despite my best efforts, I'll do it again. If I didn't have the Holy Spirit nudging me along, I could easily become immobilized. It's hard to meet all the expectations of fellow Christians. I wonder, if they can love the same Lord as I, can't they see my heart? As a matter of fact, no, they can't. We are all clouded by our own impressions.
I shoot myself in the foot when I give the opinions of others this much weight. It's a heavy load to carry, trying to do everything right for all. Impossible too. BIG problem.
~ Darlene Schacht ~
I want to be a little girl again, unaware of any expectations. I want to sense God's pleasure apart from the human faces before me. I want to hop in His lap, feel His acceptance and forget the world.
"Do what you are called to do. Use the gifts God has given you. Don't worry about the expectations of others," said my friend. I need to follow her wisdom with greater determination.
Lord, forgive my wandering eyes that want to please the people around me. Help me focus on You and only You. May my efforts bring glory to you regardless of their human merit. Soli Deo Gloria.
Thanks to Sting My Heart for hosting this week's In Other Words.
Friday, February 02, 2007
She caught my attention because she was so little to be talking on a cell phone. She couldn't have been more than three years old, if that. Following her mother in the grocery store she asked, "Can we get Froot Loops, Mom?"
"Ask Daddy if it's okay," her mother answered without looking at her.
The little girl proceeded to talk into the phone. Thinking this was a game, I was surprised when she sucked in a quick breath, opened her eyes really big and whispered, "He said yes!"
"Sanks, Dad," the little girl said into the phone.
"Okay, tell Daddy goodbye now."
"Bye, Dad. I love you."
How sweet is that?! I can't get her precious little words out of my head.
Feeling grateful for God's gifts, "Sanks, Dad."
Watching my daughter skip into school, "Sanks, Dad."
Being part of my friend's painful journey, "Sanks, Dad."
Knowing I am surrounded by people who love and know me well, "Sanks, Dad."
God is so good.
You are my God, and I will give you thanks. . . Psalm 118:28
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Hey, my stupendous husband has updated Distinctive Notes, adding some new content, a freebie and another Bible study geared at you artist types (or those who wonder what goes on in the minds of artist types). He titled this one Nothing to Say. I know. Those of you who spend any time with him are thinking, "No way." Yes, way. There's more to this man than meets the eye. Love you, honey.
Thanks to cameradawktor for photo.