Lessons from high school English…

I had incredible high school English teachers. There was a point in my life that I distinctly remember enjoying the ability to diagram sentences. To turn a perfectly ordinary linear sequence of words and thoughts on a page into what looked like a sports bracket was liberating. It gave English a sense of competition, of being able to be conquered. It may have birthed in me a love for writing, of being able to use words to entertain, connect with, inform, cajole, correct, and inspire. Knowing what words to use when was like calling a winning play with 10 seconds left on the clock in the big game.

cs30_big_wordsThe thing about language use is the amazing mystery and ability it has to captivate a reader. For instance, if you’re still reading this post… there has been some elusive quality to it, a mental magnet that has drawn you into the second paragraph from the first, wondering… what’s the point? What is Jeff going to wide up with? Will I be delighted or disappointed? It’s been intriguing so far, but will all these connected letters and words produce for me a satisfying response upon their conclusion? Will I want to talk to others about this post later? Will I forward a link to it? Perhaps… it has so ensnared my imaginings that I will even comment on it…

I’m gay.

Not really.

But you see? Two simple words combined into a sentence produced immediate reaction and response in you. A millisecond impulse of confusion/unease/trepidation. Such are the power of mere words. And these words coming from a 38 year-old Arkansan who is a graphic designer/pastor. I’m so… ordinary. Yet these words from my mind to this screen have engaged your being and thoughts for several minutes now. Your life is on hold. Your mind is in my hands. Your existence is intertwined with mine for the moment.

The power of words….

Language, whether spoken or written, sung or shouted, is so much more than communication. It is life altering. Can you sense the mystery and power and sublime beyond-ness of language? With it, I can tear down and destroy. With words, I can build a kingdom. I can distress you or cause your emotions to soar on the heights. I can solve your problems with truthful words or contribute to them with deceitful ones.

boookDear reader… and that is what you are right now. A reader, an interpreter. You are absorbing black shapes with white spaces that your mind converts to meaning. And we’re connected. Strange. Wonderful. Powerful.

Perhaps that’s why an ancient writer identified God as the logos… the Word. The Ultimate Being spoke the world into existence. Just as I am speaking reality into existence even now in your own mind. Think about this. By the time you read this, I am no longer creating this entry. I’m “done” with these thoughts. But their power and ability remain. Your time in front of your computer are a testament to this reality. When the Bible, called God’s Word, was being written across thousands of years by dozens of people, it too was words. But it’s power remains as well. Available, accessible, discoverable.

If my humble post can engage you for a few moments of your life, what do you imagine Divine Truth could do if you read it in the same amount of time that you’ve given this post… daily? The Bible claims to be different from all other earthly writings. We’ve already established the transcendant impact of words and language. What do you suppose words from God might be able to do in your mind?

The Bible especially… it’s like a blog. Blogs are the most meaningful when you interact with their author by commenting on them, sharing entries with your friends, laughing, learning, linking to other
items or entries of interest. In the same way, divine truth begs you to interact with it, to comment on it, to communicate with its author, and to be transformed by it.

Consider these words my friends. Your life can be different in the next moment! Your life can be changed. All because of the reality behind the language that a word seeks to communicate.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – from the New Testament book of John, chapter 1, verse 1.

On this day...

11 comments

  1. Jeff Noble says:
    Kiki!
    Thanks for the compliment! Coming from you… well, that’s huge. I can only speak for myself… not Mitch! 😉
  2. Kiki says:
    I always wondered about you and Mitch…… : )

    J/K!!!

    Great post. I agree with Brandi and Carolyn. You need to write that book. (just don’t include any college stories…..some of us would like to keep our jobs.)

  3. Phil says:
    hummmin—just tryin ta explore the Beliefnet website and got lost here–took the what fait are you test and they said I was 100% neo pagan ! What is neo pagan???—maybe I should rething some of my answers to their ????s–?–also tryed signing on a doz. times with my signon name ,which I,ve had with aOL FOR 6+ YRS NOW [HIPPEE547Y@AOL.COM] AND IT KEPT TELLING ME I had an invalid emailc add…think I finally figured it out tho–signin name has to have letters and numbers, or at least 1 of each—it may change tho next time I try to sign on tho–yes its true ,I do consider myself an ole hippee, after coming out of the vn war in 69–I got into an ibm programing school in Hotlanta,Ga.,which only lasted 2 months since I took up w/ the hippy community on peachtree St. n the surrounding area, Piedmont Park ,etc..wound up living in and out of what a doz. or so of us considered Our commune on Charles Allen Drive—for nearly a yr.—then returned to my hometown in 70 to open a headshop?–Actually Arts n Crafts–but stayed involved w/ the alterative lifestyle for say 20yrs–got drug free in the mid 80s,when I decided to settle and try at raisin a family, finally had a daughter in 89 –now am disabled on v.a. pens. –dabbled at songwriting for the past 36 yrs..and began writing poetry a few yrs ago, w/ better success–website is–poetry.com–poet name –Philip Corder– have had bout 20 published–theres 50+ on my site–just now beginning to more seriously explore the complexities of Faith—ready ta butt heads on the subject–one a my favorite quotes is from my Granddad Corder,who back in the early 50s took me to a negro church social,and all day preachin–as he was an evang. himself–and close freinds with Strom Thurmond of SCs policial fame–even a campaine worker for Strom in the 50s—well,I shouldnt ramble on here yet-just introducing myself,for the messageboards n chatrooms–should I get any responce from ya,ll—hippee547
  4. Ginger Norris says:
    You are anything but ordinary! Awesome post!
  5. Jeff Noble says:
    Thanks, helper!
    But instead of a book, just forward the link to the entry… Let’s see what we can drum up in the way of readers… interpreters… for the Word that became flesh.
  6. Kristy says:
    ditto, Caro and Brandi…intriguing, interesting, eye-opening. i’ve been very convicted about my blog time vs. Bible time lately anyway. thanks a lot-it can’t get much clearer than this message 🙂
  7. That was incredible!! and convicting!! Keep em coming! and listen to Brandi!!!:)
  8. Jeff says:
    Brandi… you know you have a secret desire to diagram sentences! Admit it.
  9. Brandi says:
    You remember how very much I loved the initial part of our study???? I had english class nightmares just ready your blog today…stop it…no…I don’t want to dissect sentences…what’s a pronoun…that word’s too big for me to even pronounce…help me…somebody pinch me! You really should be an english teacher or maybe you should write that book that Carolyn has been pestering you about doing….you know that wife knows best!!! 🙂
  10. Phillip Corder says:
    can I get a HEY come on and visit w/ us agin?
  11. Phillip Corder says:
    OK I see it posted—have,nt visited this site in quite a while–so here I am agin to complete the verse my granddad once told me—something like this–“one of the greatest sins is argueing religion and politics”–maybe even the greatest sin–so to commune sanely forget the arguement and sincerely study one anouthers faith–and democrasy –or lack of–that should be a beginning of understanding—evry trek begins w/ one step forward—so I,m offering my thoughts toward understanding,to possiblly finding a better treatment of our present world conflicts…just ask for my reply !!!

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