Choosing to Still Be a Student

After sixty-plus years of speaking the English language (I’ll leave the plus part to your imagination), I’m still looking up words in the dictionary. As a writer, I need to be a reader also so I run across new-to-me words on a fairly regular basis. It’s not that I have a poor vocabulary, there are just a lot of unfamiliar words out there, especially when I get into areas outside my realm of experience.

One time I read a novel that featured a main character with a form of autism. Since I don’t have close personal experience with autism, I had to hit the dictionary a couple of times over terminology I’d heard before but didn’t really understand. Not long ago, I read some historical fiction that put me in a time and place that also stretched the limits of my vocabulary.

Of course, other times I’m foggy on meanings of words that I’ve seen before and should know. Maybe my brain has only so much room and has started deleting past info to make room for new? Say it ain’t so!

Whether encountering brand new words or words I simply need to review, I have a choice to make. I can skip over them completely, try to guess their meaning from the context, or take time to look them up. I can choose to still be a student or just coast through and miss the full message intended.

Many times I choose to coast, allowing time factors or lack of convenience to dictate my decision, but other times I choose to investigate. I choose to learn, to still be a student. I may not remember the new word a day later, but the process still helped me grasp that particular passage more fully.

What about when I—or you—read the Word of God? We may be familiar with much of the language, but what do we do when we run across words and phrases or names and places that are unfamiliar to us? What about when we know the actual meaning of certain words, but we’re puzzled by the deeper meaning of the passage? Do we take time to read the footnotes or look up words in our concordance or do some cross-referencing? Do we dig deep to discover what words meant in the original Greek or Hebrew language?

Are we still students of the Word of God or do we just coast through in our reading? Do we sometimes miss the full message intended? I don’t know about you, but I don’t dig deep often enough.

The Word of God is too important to miss, isn’t it? Let’s choose to learn. Let’s choose to investigate. Let’s still be students.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

*What do you do to dig deeper into the Word of God?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by crdotxCreative Commons License

Giveaway Winner Plus Power-of-Our-Words Quote

4686348235_444f5f004c_zAnother Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is now in the books. And I’m happy to announce that with the help of RANDOM.ORG, we have a winner of the $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble. That lucky Life Notes subscriber is . . . Chandi! Congrats, Chandi, and enjoy!

As always, I wish I could give a gift card to each and every subscriber, but since I can’t do that, allow me to encourage and inspire you with a great quote today. In his book Love Does, here’s what Bob Goff has to say about the power of our words:

“Words can launch us. We don’t need to be a dean [of admissions] to say words that change everything for someone. Instead, God made it so that ordinary people like you and me can launch each other . . . I believe it’s true that the right people can say words that can change everything. And guess what? We’re the ones who can say them.”

Friends, our words have power. Let’s use them to encourage, comfort, challenge, and inspire others. Let’s use them to launch one another. Let’s use them for good.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1Thessalonians 5:11

*When has someone’s words launched you or made a difference for you?

*Flickr photo by bengrey, Creative Commons License