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Week 1- calm Week 2- guide Week 3- holy Week 4- employ


“After several days of violent protest over the election results, the mayor appealed for calm.” This has become a normal condition in larger cities because of this year’s election results. Our nation conducts elections to name new leaders for another term. It has been the case since the founding of our country over two hundred years ago. Such civil unrest and chaos shows that our constitution and its amendments are largely misunderstood and that civil chaos is preferred rather than a smooth transition of leadership from one term to another. The majority has set the tone for this next term, but the minority in this election does not recognize the rule of the majority. Our nation will never see calm until the radical element of unrest is solved!


“A quiet calm settled over the city.” This example sentence shows us one often used meaning of calm, that of tranquility. Another definition for calm is “lack of wind or motion.” Meteorology also uses calm “to indicate a condition in which the air movement is less than one mile per hour.” There is no agitation or excitement in any sense where calm is the condition. Serenity and tranquility are key values intended when calm is used. We need a sense of stillness and repose after a period of chaos. We need a period of calm after this past election!


“The medicine helped calm her breathing.” Ask any nurse: medicine that brings calm is a blessing. For those in the medical profession, medicines are very useful for treating a variety of illnesses. But those medicines that cause more symptoms than they cure are of very doubtful benefit. However, if they bring a sense of calm to the patient, they may have their usefulness. There are many things in life that bring us calm and these things are what we should be looking for. A period of calm is medicine in itself!


“The sailboat rocked gently back and forth in the calm air as they waited for a breeze.” Sailors find it difficult to be patient and wait for the wind to pick up with enough force to move the boat. Calm air for a sailor will tax his patience. Gentle breezes of 3 to 5 miles an hour will move a sailboat gently along, but progress will be slow. A sailboat is much easier to steer when the wind is blowing about 5 to 10 miles per hour and it will make good speed across the water. You really appreciate the breeze after a period of calm air!


“His words were effective in calming her fears.” Relationships in today’s social arena can be quite complicated, but calm can be an important quality. To have a partner that knows how to deal with stress and social chaos can be a characteristic that helps a relationship stay together. With the internet, global media, and the instant ability to communicate with friends anywhere in the world adds a stress factor to the lives of many people. One must learn to prioritize what is really important and what will have the closest impact on one’s daily life. You cannot let little things disturb your calm!

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“One commentator claims that there were unknown forces guiding the outcome of the election.” There are many in religious circles who this statement to be true. Those who don’t believe in a supreme being would just say that the results were an unexpected event. The difficulty is that so many in our world today do not believe in a supreme being. For those in that group that have no knowledge of spiritual things it is hard for them to believe in spiritual forces that impact physical events. Yet history is full of such events taking place. The Bible is one sure place to find the right kind of guide!


“Most sea captains have used the stars as a guide to find their way back to their home port.” Guide is a word that can be used as a noun or verb. In our example sentence it is being used as a noun. The simplest meaning for guide is “one that leads or directs another’s way.” Someone or something that directs another’s way is the most often used meaning. Guide has several other meanings such as device that steadies or directs the motion of something like a ring on a fishing pole that guides the line. It can also be a member of a military unit that follows commands when marching. Be sure to look for good guides to follow for a successful life!


“We had a very good guide on our trip around Europe.” Tour guides are a special group. They must be organized and outgoing, and knowledgeable about the countries they go to. It is also helpful if they are fluent in several languages and their local customs. To be able to deal with the unexpected and have a flexible attitude is also a plus. If you are visiting a country where you do not know the language, a competent guide and translator is a must. To travel in a country with strange customs and language and without a guide is almost asking for trouble!


“Do you follow the saying ‘let your conscience guide you?’” Before we explore the answer to this well know quote, let’s look at one more definition of guide: “to direct, supervise, or influence usually to a particular end.” Can your conscience guide you to a particular end? Yes. What your conscience cannot do is guide you to the right and truthful answer each time. A mass murderer says that his conscience guided him to do what he did. But did his conscience guide him to do what was MORALLY correct? No. Our conscience must do more than to guide us to do what our carnal nature wants. Our conscience must have a moral compass to also guide us in doing what is right. Where does your conscience find that moral compass? The best guide you can have is what directs you into what is morally right and correct!


“She had a guiding influence on his decision.” In a good relationship, one party in it will oftentimes help the other with decision making. One meaning of “guide” is often overlooked, that is a means for steadying or directing the motion or direction of an action. A proper relationship will include an understanding of who is best at making what kind of decisions. There is no such thing as one human being that can make good decisions in all areas; that person does not exist no matter what many egomaniacs say. Find a good guide and stay with it!

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 “Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.” Our word this week is ‘holy’ and since it is the week that precedes Christmas, it is appropriate that we understand this word and its use. Our example sentence is verse 9 from Psalm 99 which gives us an idea of God’s divinity. God is the only being that transcends time and space. He has no beginning or ending. He is the only true picture of perfection and because He is perfect, he is to be worshiped in a manner that is befitting His position of exaltation. God is Holy and perfect and to be worshiped!


“The writers and prophets of the Old Testament where inspired by the Holy Spirit.” An often used definition of ‘holy’ is one who is “devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity.” That meaning fits well with the thought in our example sentence for today. Another definition of ‘holy’ is to “have a divine quality or venerated as sacred, i.e. holy scripture.” Often people will use ‘holy’ as an intensive or in the sense of a mild oath. The more positive thought or use of ‘holy’ is to “exalt or hold worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness. Read the Holy Bible for it contains the best advice one can get!


“The guide pointed out a holy relic worn by one of the saints.” In this example sentence, the use of ‘holy’ has been corrupted. Only one time in history has any physical thing been considered as “holy.” The Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament was made from God’s instructions to Moses and God accepted it and his acceptance of the ark was what made it Holy, not the making of the physical object itself. God alone can determine what is Holy and what is not holy. Human beings do not have the power to make a physical object Holy. Therefore this ‘relic’ worn by one of the saints was not in and of itself holy. It was man’s assessment of its value that made it ‘special’ but that did not make it ‘holy.’ Use great care that you assign “Holy” value only to what God says is holy!


“The mayor’s comment about the city’s problem was “this is a holy mess.” Nothing that man attempts without God’s help is ever “holy.” The ‘mess’ referred to by the mayor was of man’s doing, not God’s. As in this example, the word “holy” is often used as descriptor of an intense issue and in some cases as a mild oath. To use “holy” as such a descriptor cheapens the meaning of the word and detracts from its true and intended use. Expressions like ‘holy smoke,’ ‘holy cow,’ or ‘holy mess’ are lame intents to describe an intense situation. Be careful not to degrade the use of “Holy!” 


“Joseph and Mary were obedient to what God asked them to do, so God blessed their relationship because of the birth of Jesus, their Holy child.” Little is known of the early years of Jesus’ parents, but we do know that Jesus had several siblings. Jesus was the oldest of Joseph and Mary’s children. As an adult, his ministry and life had a profound impact upon his siblings after his death as one of his brothers died for his faith. Jesus’ relationship with his family was strong and had a powerful impact. When God blesses a relationship, it can have a profound and lasting result! May you have happy Christmas.

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“The U.S. Government employs the skills of many different people.” In this example sentence, we see ‘employ’ used in the sense of “using the services of” many individuals that make the wheels of government operate. But, how many is too many? When skills are employed to do work that interferes with “free enterprise” it becomes detrimental to efficient operation. Free enterprise is the income source for a government to operate. To destroy free enterprise is to destroy the government’s primary income base. Socialists are clueless that what they do is eventually to destroy where they are to get their money!


“We should all find better ways to employ our time.” Our word this week can be used as both a noun and a verb. In the noun form, it means to use or to have purpose. It is also defined as “the state of being employed.” In the verb form, it is “to make use of something (that is inactive). Employ also indicates the use of or the engagement of one’s services. Another useful meaning of employ is “to devote to or direct toward a particular activity or person.” Thus, employ is an action word that guides its energies toward some positive end. Be resourceful in how you ‘employ’ your time!


“She had to employ a lawyer to review her new service contract.”  For many these days, the simple idea of getting a job and working for a company has become much more complex. Skilled professionals are often required to put in legal form what duties they will perform, how often, and what is not in their job skill set. Employment in higher skilled professions will often require such detailed “does and don’ts” to keep them from being entangled in menial ‘make work’ activities. This is often done so their skills can be focused upon what they are specifically employed to do. Employ what you need to do the best job you can!


“He employed some brilliant business tactics to defeat his competition.” In today’s business arena, successful employers must use “out of the box” thinking and ideas to achieve their business goals. A business must find its niche, it area of special operation, and use innovative ideas to appeal to its clients. This concept must find and use employees with the exceptional skills that are needed to serve the needs of their special niche. This is a rare talent to find, motivate, and integrate such skills into a business operation successfully. It is this most notable ability to put together such diverse talents that can help make a company successful in its area of specialty. Employ new ideas and ways to operate a business!


“Successful relationships must employ good practices.” This requires that both parties to the relationship must talk about and have open discussions about what one expects of the other. Any good relationship will make this a priority at the beginning whether it be between lovers, friends, or business partners. The lack of clear ideas on what is agreeable and what is disagreeable for the union has been the cause of relationship failure. Set your standards at the beginning and it will contribute to a successful alliance!

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