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Week 1 Break Week 2 Deceive Week 3 Joke Week 4 Consent Week 5 Help


Our word this week is one with many meanings depending upon how it is used and the thought behind it. We like to see a break in the weather but to break a habit is difficult. To break and enter is a crime and will end up in conflict with the law. However, we like to break records and make new ones. To break a promise is a bad thing but to break a tie is not. The list of ways we can use the word are many but we must “take a break” and leave it for today. We will break into it again tomorrow.


How do you define a word simply that has 24 verb tense meanings, 19 verb infinitive meanings and 17 noun meanings? However, I will try to define “break” in a general way. To interrupt or disrupt something like an electric current or a falling object. A sudden change in one’s voice as his voice broke at the high note. In the noun form one might have a break in the weather or break out of prison. Just don’t break and run when the going gets tough.


When we think of using the word “break,” we might look for clues as to action that it will bring. Clues like “break down” or “break up” or maybe “break a fall.” The way this word is used will be determined by the activity or function that it will perform. When you are broke, you are reduced to poverty or financial ruin. Alternatively, you may break a promise or some agreement. The use of the word break will bring some disruption of the order or lack of completeness to its action. Be careful, just don’t have a breakdown and ruin your day.


How does the word “break” change, impact or influence the actions we take? It will normally indicate an action to separate into pieces, such as, “The server dropped the glass and it broke into a thousand pieces.” To break can also indicate to crack, split, fracture or splinter something. What is better is when you feel joy and “break” out in singing. That is better than to have a bad day financially. As they say in the theatre, “break a leg” for success. How’s that for a break?


On this Good Friday, we will talk about our word as it bears upon relationships. Jesus died a horrific death on this day that is called “Good.” Why? Because with His act, we can break with sin and its hold is broken. Accepting Him brings us into relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Father. That is a relationship we can cherish forever. This models how our relationships should be. They should last forever and sins forgiven will not break their hold. May your Easter be blessed. Maranatha

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This week, we will change directions and look at a word with much negative emphasis. It is a word we need to be wary of but also be aware. There are those in life that have objectionable moral values that live by the many ways that they can deceive people and benefit from it. There are even people groups that believe in a lifestyle that deliberately deceives others. They live by the lies they create and to them this is normal. They have no valid sense of moral direction, no foundation for what is right and wrong. Know who they are and be wary.


In the movie “An Education” a young English teenage girl is seduced by an older married man. It is a classic definition of deceive. The word implies deliberate misrepresentation of facts by words or actions to further one’s ends. It is to make a person believe what is not true; to delude or mislead. It is to betray a trust and is occasionally used in the sense “to while away time.” Lies and deceit are the focal actions used in the word deceive. Swindlers beware!


Have you ever trusted someone or something advertized only to find out that the information was misrepresented? You were misled. You followed a course of action that was erroneous. Or, you were enticed into a course of action that was false? You thought it was true, but found out be experience that it was wrong. These are classic symptoms of how we are deceived. Deceive also has an aura of betrayal when someone appears to be loyal but is really breaking faith with you. Know the symptoms that reflect being deceived. Be wary, always!


Truth is the foundation for anything that we can trust. God, not man, is the source of all truth. We must be cautious about trusting anything that mankind does. The things that we as humans do cannot always be trusted. Sometimes people do things in innocence that cannot be trusted because of ignorance, sub-conscious motives and the desire to satisfy a selfish desire. In our world today, the thrust of business is to make money and the thrust of government is political power. If you do not want to be deceived, you must be cautious about who and what you believe. The negative impact is failure to do so will invite being deceived. Beware!


Relationships are built upon a foundation of trust. To deceive is not an action that builds trust. Common deeds that involve the action to deceive are to swindle, to trick, to cheat, to fool another, to defraud, to not play fair. These are the kind of actions that destroy trust. Any good, solid relationship should avoid any activity or deed that would suggest that one is a deceiver. The evil one is the father of all actions to deceive. Put on your armor and pray fervently!

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How many times have you laughed at a joke that was really stupid? Many times we do without thinking about what the joke really means. It strikes us as absurd, funny, improper or out of place. Most of the time jokes are good. Laughter is good medicine. When it is clean and appropriate, a joke can lighten the spirit or loosen up a tense situation. When we can make jokes about ourselves and our weaknesses that’s a good thing.


When something is done in jest, it will normally bring laughter. How then do we define what is a joke and what is not? The dictionary gives us “anything said or done to arouse laughter. Specifically a funny anecdote with a punch line or an amusing trick played on someone without harmful consequences. It can also be the humorous element in a situation. It can also bring to a specified condition by joking, as in relieving a tense atmosphere by using levity.


What are some things that produce a good joke? A good joke can be a prank, a gag, clowning or such action that is intended to be funny. Also, a play on words, one-liners or humorous anecdotes can produce laughter and become a good joke. However, care must be taken when someone becomes the butt of a joke, or made a laughingstock, or mockery is used to belittle another. When a joke becomes hurtful to a person, it is no longer a joke or funny. It becomes no joking matter.


With all jokes there is an impact. Some jokes have a positive impact and some jokes have a negative impact. For instance, jokes that point out our weaknesses in an odd way can be positive. Jokes that make a point of using profanity and a pointed reference to a class of people who are challenged in a way that is beyond their control is negative and demeaning. Do not be a party to that kind of negative and insulting put down. There are even Federal laws that prohibit such actions and label them as “hate crimes.” Breaking a Federal law is no joke. “Nuff said?”


In a relationship, jokes can be a good thing or a bad thing. If you value the relationship, you better find out how the other side feels about jokes. One bad joke can do more damage to a relationship than a thousand good deeds. The other party can be offended by what you think is a good clean joke. Find out what makes the other side offended. Then be affirmative and do not use a joke to push the other’s hot button. Bad jokes done without sensitivity can create a life time of trouble. Was the joke really worth it?

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Our word this week is an action word and very positive. When you consent to do something, you are being proactive. The action – consent – implies that you have given much thought to what is being asked of you and you are complying with the request. To not consent is to be in disagreement and introduces a negative atmosphere with the originator of the consent request. Even when you agree to disagree, the atmosphere produced is still negative. Consent opens doors. Dissent closes them.


Our word, consent, has both an active sense as well as a passive. To consent is to concur, permit, assent or comply with or to something that has been proposed or requested. Today, it is most closely associated with the concept of two adults who willingly engage in a sexual act. There is also the sense of yield, allow or assent to something as in “one who gives in.” The definition means to agree or give permission to a request. “Let’s eat,” might work.


To agree and give permission incurs some sense of obligation and responsibility. We view that act with varying degrees. Some consider it to be a blessing. Others might think of it as a “license” to do certain activities with unlimited freedom. Still others might consider it a promise to accomplish a goal. Consent can even mean that one will underwrite certain actions with approval. Any of these might be a symptom of what consent really means. Be careful of what you give “consent” to.


What kind of impact does giving consent to someone or something have on your life? In someway, everyday, you give consent to some act or action. You have a set of rules whether conscious or unconscious that guides your actions. When those rules are faulty, you make choices that have negative consequences. When your rules are solid, rationally based you then will make positive choices. The rules you follow will determine the impact when you give your consent. Have you updated your “rule” book lately?


Any relationship requires consent. If you do not give your consent, it is not a relationship. It is an issue with all kinds of baggage, even to the point of being abusive and/or criminal intent. The core thought with consent is that of agreement and to do something willingly with permission or assent. Give much thought to any relationship to which you have not consented. Give assent to what you agree to. That is your God-given right to happiness.

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The purpose for doing the word of the week is to “help” or assist readers to better understand a word and some of the different ways it might be used or applied in our conversations and things we read. Help as a verb has four different ways it can be understood. As a noun it has three definitions and it can also be used as an interjection. When you hear the word “help” do you stop to analyze how it is being used? Not likely. Then we wonder why we are misunderstood. Help!


Help is the simplest and strongest of the words that mean to supply another with whatever is necessary to accomplish his or her ends or relieve his or her wants. As a verb, it means to make things easier or better for (a person); or to give aid and assistance. To make it easier for (something) to exist, happen, develop, or improve. To serve or wait upon is also another way it is used. As a noun, it is the act of helping or a thing that helps or aids or assists. Help also means to summon assistance. Here comes relief!


For this week’s word, we will take a slightly different tack to look at signs or symptoms of “help.” Some sayings we commonly hear are: lend a hand, to bail someone out, or to be someone’s advocate. Also to take under one’s wing, go to bat for or take sides with might also be heard. Help can indicate someone in distress. It can also be a subordinate role to a leader or major player in business. You can also help the poor and needy; but, a symptom might also be an action we take. Do you need help?


A response to the need for help should always have a positive impact. A negative response is either a hideous evil or an uncaring indifference to another’s need. When help is needed, we should always respond and do our best to meet the need. Keep in mind that a day may come when you have a dire need and are looking for help from others. If you have responded negatively to the needs of others, how can you expect others to respond positively to your need? How you respond to the need for help will impact your life as well as others. 1st aid should be our 1st thought!


Do you need help in developing good relationships? Most of us do. In past weeks, we have looked at the following words: commit, faithfulness, consent, soundness, truth, confidence, assurance, trust, integrity and honesty. All of these words and the Friday notes on relationship can be a great help to develop a good relationship. The thought behind each of these words is an excellent help in how we can refine our approach to building a close kinship with others. Help build harmony with others!

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