Grace notes – A few good words

Every morning I get an email called Word Daily, a word of the day to add to my vocabulary.

Like chinwag, which is something I do every day. It means having a chat with someone.

Or toxophilite: someone who is interested in archery.

I am not a toxophilite.

How about cynosure? That’s something I’ve been accused of wanting to be at times — the center of attention.

Being a writer, I do love words, but not fancy foo-foo words that sound all ostentatious and pedantic (show offy and foo-foo).

I prefer simple, understandable words that tell a story people can understand.

This past week at church, my pastor spoke about words, the power they have to heal or wound, to bring life or death.

Words have started wars, destroyed families.

But words also encourage and build up, and the right word at the right time can even be the very thing that saves a life.

Like I said, I love words. Here are a few of my favorites:

Despite. I read a quote the other day that caught my attention: “And he (God) loves me, despite the fact I fail him every day.”

He sees where we fail, loves us anyway and doesn’t hold it against us. That gives me great comfort.

Nothing. An old hymn says, “Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to Thy cross I cling.”

Jesus said, “Nothing is impossible with God.”

Psalm 23 says, “The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing.”

When it comes to a relationship with God, nothing is not nothing. Nothing is a good thing.

Able. Scripture tells me: God is able to do “immeasurably more.” He is able to keep me from stumbling. He is able to guard what I have entrusted to him, able to help those who are tempted to sin and able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray.

I need a God who is able.

If. If God is for me, who can be against me? If the Son has set me free, I am free indeed.

If I confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just to forgive…and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.


Restoreth. I like the King James Bible word from Psalm 23. “He restoreth my soul.”

When I am frantic and reaching meltdown stage, God whispers to me, “He restoreth my soul,” and usually immediately, if only for that moment, my soul is restored because I am reminded that the Lord is my shepherd and I have everything I need and want.

Also, he “maketh me to lie down in green pastures and leadeth me beside the still waters.” I love that.

Jesus. The gospel of John starts out: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

John was talking about Jesus, the Word of God, who spoke creation into being.

In the Martin Luther hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” we sing: “the prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo! His doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.”

That word is “Jesus.” Just saying “Jesus” brings me comfort and strength — and hope.

I don’t need a vocabulary full of big fancy words like peripeteia (a sudden reversal of fortune).

All I need are a few good, simple words that tell me of God’s love and care for his own.

Nancy Kennedy can be reached at 352-564-2927 or by email at


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