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A Word in Your Ear…from Wordle > Connections > Potts’ Concordance

There is a spiritual meaning throughout the Word and in all its details. “ (Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 9)

On each day of my working life as a proofreader I looked closely at words. Now that enjoyable task has re-entered my life, and in the past few months I’ve been pondering on the associations between three word-related things I do every day.

1. Each morning, my husband and I play Wordle on his iPad. At first it’s a total guess as to what that day’s 5-letter word will be. We usually figure it out well within the six tries that players are allowed.

2. Then we move on to Connections, where we must arrange 16 words into 4 groups of 4 associated words. This is trickier, and is heavily weighted to American thinking, culture, expressions etc. We’re getting better at it, even if we don’t really always ‘get’ the connections the game makes.

3. Finally, if time allows, I’ll spend a while proofreading an assigned part of the digitised version of Potts’ Concordance. (Early in 2024 I joined a growing team of people working on this particular aspect of the New Christian Bible Study project.) 

Like the game Connections, Potts’ Concordance has many closely associated words. It goes alphabetically through terms used in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Writings. I love this proofreading work! It gets me deep into what words / phrases used in the Bible mean on a correspondential level, and also shows where to find further references and explanations for words used in the Writings themselves. Even if I don’t always ‘get’ what is being said (which does happen quite often), surely my soul is learning!

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Super Bloom

Editor’s note – today’s post was written by Lori Odhner and published as a Marriage Moat. Lori writes these messages and sends them as weekday emails as well as posting them on social media. We like to share some of our favorites from past years.

Photo by Anita Halterman

The flowers in California are having a heyday. Several years of drought followed by buckets of rain are a combination for opulent fields of poppies. We went to see them, back when we lived there twenty years ago. It is a marvelous thing to be surrounded by color, as long as no witch is dropping a sleeping potion on you. 

I have had my own seasons of blooming, which coincidentally came after my own dearth. God seems hesitant to tip His hand about such outcomes, leaving us to wonder and wait. 

A blueberry farmer once told me that you cannot get fruit if there is no freeze. I don’t really know about such things but the notion has served me in my own periods of cold. Maybe this is the prelude to sweetness, rather than an obstacle to it. 

The day after the power went out is an occasion for increased appreciation for the flick of a light switch. Days after a bout of an aching back are fertile for gratitude in health. 

“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40


Seeing And Believing

Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”
And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read,

‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have perfected praise’?”
Matthew 21: 14-16

This part of the Palm Sunday story has always filled me with joy. I love the idea that little children are the paragons of praise. Where the chief priests and scribes saw a threat, the children saw salvation. While Jesus healed the blind, the chief priests and scribes clung to their spiritual blindness and dismissed His power. But the children believed. They saw His wonders and didn’t doubt Him. In this way, children are also paragons of belief. Their willingness to be led—the very definition of innocence—is what makes children so profoundly special. 

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many favorite children’s games revolve around sight. “Peek-a-boo” is a classic example. Young children simply delight in covering their eyes, pretending that they can’t see or be seen, and then, magically, they appear again as soon as they take their hands away. “I Spy” is another game that comes to mind. What a simple, but effective way to reinforce a young child’s awareness of the colors and shapes of the world around them. These types of games encourage the players to watch and notice—to embrace what’s right in front of us and to rejoice in the fact that it’s there and that we’ve found it.

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On Children’s Book Curation

“Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to reject the evil and choose the good.” (Isaiah 7:15

These days I have the pleasant problem of keeping up with four young readers with varied ages and interests. After dinner is read-aloud time at my house, then the older kids grab flashlights and their own books for “staying-up time” in bed. Our local librarians are good sports, gamely checking in and out the piles of books we chew through each week.

There’s an art to finding the right book for a child: a glossy encyclopedia of cat breeds for a kitten-crazy kid or a sprawling fantasy epic for a dreamy one. There’s also an art to filtering out the wrong books. “Censorship” usually refers to an action by a governing body or institution, so let’s call how I choose the books coming into my house “curation.”

Because I do curate, as almost every parent does. If those debating book bans can agree on one thing, it’s that parents care deeply about who gets to put what in front of their children. My kids have invited some curation; one of them doesn’t want any snakes in a book. But some parental curation happens without my kids being aware of it, and every once in a while it happens against their will. 

When my kids push back against limits to book or internet access, I fall back on a food metaphor: would I give their four-year-old sibling free rein in a grocery store? That usually gets a laugh, and they’re open to hearing why I wouldn’t give them unfettered access to all sections of the library. As kids get older, I can invite them more and more into the process of choosing the food they consume—and their food for thought. Curation turns into a conversation. I want to equip my kids to think critically about books and other media, because I won’t always be there to ask, “What does this story glorify?” or “What is the creator trying to tell readers?”

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