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Week 1 Obtuse Week 2 Plague Week 3 Health Week 4 Secret


Though rarely used, obtuse is one of those words that has interest. In the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”, an inmate Andy Dufrene (Tim Robbins) who has been wrongly accused, is talking with the warden. He is trying to convince the warden that new evidence has come to light and it would show that he has been wrongly accused. The warden is insensitive to his appeals. Andy then asks the warden how can he be so “obtuse?” The warden, highly offended, has him thrown into solitary confinement for thirty days. Be careful how you use words. They can boomerang!


For obtuse, its definition is rather simple. It has two major meanings. Blunt as in not pointed, the degree of an angle that exceeds 90 degrees and the contour of a leaf are the first of its major meanings. All relate to something being not pointed as in blunt. The second major meaning has to do with intellect or expression. In this part of the definition, it relates to lacking quickness of sensibility as in not understanding. When you do not express a thought with preciseness that is being obtuse. Yes, you can look for a sharp angle but do not be obtuse!


This is one of those words that we might ask, where did it come from? Good question. Obtuse is from middle English. It is a derivative of the Latin obtusus which meant dull or blunt. Thy sword, O Lancelot is obtuse. He needs to sharpen his sword to better defend himself. Someone who uses blunt words is obtuse, because he is insensitive to how the hearer might be offended by them. These examples are some of the symptoms or signs of the use of obtuse. Raw, blunt words are sometimes necessary, but only in extreme cases. This election saw some obtuse words used. It is better to be softer of tone rather than to sling thoughtless words!


Mr. Jason had become highly respected in his field, yet he was obtuse, that is dullish of character. In this example of a fictitious person, we see that because of position in his profession, Jason had become complacent and lacked sharpness. The impact of being obtuse upon one’s character is never a good thing. It is a characteristic that one wants to avoid. Sometimes people will get to the point where they do not want to be sharp in their intellect nor are they quick to sense a change which life has thrust upon them. Do all possible to avoid that kind of impact. Don’t be blunt and obtuse, be sharp as a tack!


Is it necessary to say that you do not want a relationship that is labeled obtuse? Dull, smooth, flat and level are words that are appropriate for an obtuse relationship. Insensitive and stupid are also words that you do not want to see as labels for your relationship. Any good relationship takes work and much thought to make it one that pleases those involved. So, work on it, but don’t needle it!

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In a past word of the week, we looked at a word similar to plague: vex. Their meanings can overlap somewhat. However, plague has a much more intense and troublesome nature. The nature of this word suggests such things as to infest, beset, or fester. These meanings suggest a medical condition. Also in the nature of this word is to molest or oppress as in a pestilence. Plague also is suggestive of ancient times as the Egyptian plagues of biblical times. Whatever its use, plague is never a good word. Don’t be a tormentor, be a bother if you must!


As we look at this word, we find that it has four basic meanings. The first definition is anything that afflicts or troubles as in calamity or scourge. The most common use of plague is its second meaning any contagious epidemic disease that is deadly as in the bubonic plague. A more informal use of plague is when we think of it as a nuisance or annoyance. Many people know the Bible use of plague as any of various calamities sent down as divine punishment. (See Ex. 9:14; Num. 16:46. Do not wish the plague on anyone, just be a blessing!


Are you avoiding me like the plague? Interesting thought, huh? We normally think of plague in this way, when someone is being a nuisance or what he does annoys us. That is not so bad. We can recover from that condition, but when a person harasses or torments us that is a different path. That is the kind of plague you do not want to wish upon anyone. If the troublemaker is not open to reason, you will most likely need legal assistance or police involvement. Don’t act like the plague, be nice!


The impact of the plague is not a pretty sight. Think bird flu epidemic, Black Death of the Middle Ages or any disease that impacts large segments of any population. Each of these concepts will bring us to think of or sense the smell of death and destruction. In whatever sense we use plague, it is never a sense that produces hope or life for the future. It is the worst of times but the impact is never the best. When we experience negative situations in life, we need to keep in mind that hope will come to our aid. Choose against the negative and always hope for the positive future!


This is not a good word to be connected to any relationship. The plague and any of its meanings will put any relationship into a tailspin. If you have a bad relationship and divine punishment has been inflicted upon it, get out! Life has enough affliction and intense troubles without adding a bad relationship. If you have a friend or loved one that is in a bad relationship do them a favor and help them out of it. Life is hard enough without being in a bad relationship that adds to an already heavy burden. As my father-in-law used to say, don’t tarry, get in and get out!

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The holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, bring us many thoughts both good and bad. We have Black Friday sales and constant reminders of what we need to do for the holidays. We are even reminded to watch out for our good health. If we over spend, over indulge in food and under indulge in exercising our bodies, it could have a heavy negative impact upon our wellbeing. Our health covers more than just feeling good. We need to moderate our holiday indulgence and focus on being happy! Yea!


This is a good word. There are four basic definitions or meanings. First is used most of the time. It is physical and mental well-being. To be free from disease, pain or defect; a normalcy of physical and mental functions. A state of soundness. Second is a condition of body or mind, as in good or bad health. The third meaning is to a wish for someone to have health and happiness, as in a toast. The last meaning is for soundness or vitality as in the health of a society, people group or culture. Let’s focus on good health for all!


On this day before Thanksgiving, let us think about some of the signs of good health. I am sure that we are concerned with our fitness and physical state. Good health would also include a good mental state as well as a general sense of well-being. Then our healthy constitution would also include excellent form, shape and tone. All of this would be a sign of our good circumstance. Good health has a tendency to put us in a positive frame of mind about life. So, let’s not mope, just be thankful and live happy!


We must be thankful for good health! Many of us will enjoy far more food today than we really need, but it signifies our prosperity. For such prosperity, we give thanks. There will be many of our friends in faraway places that will do good to eat a meal on this special day. The impact for them on this Thanksgiving Day is to have a roof over their heads, a warm bed and not be hungry when they go to sleep. Truly, God has blessed us and this nation that we live in!


Have you checked the health of your relationships lately? Good healthy relationships should exhibit certain characteristics. Some or all of the following should be displayed as evidence of a good, healthy relationship: sanity, strength, energy, and at times a sense of well-being and euphoria. The lack of some or all of these could be a symptom of the relationship being in danger. A periodic examination of your closest relationships could help prevent much chaos and confusion. Don’t procrastinate, chin-up and check-up!

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This word carries with it the sense of the unknown or that which is not commonly known or revealed. The use of this word is quite extensive and covers the realm of mystery, concealed or special knowledge for only a few. Because the knowledge of a secret is veiled or hidden, its exposure is usually protected. The objective and intended use of secret is not normally in a positive direction. To hide from public knowledge denies something its use for the community at large. To keep a secret, don’t live in a glass house!


In the definition for secret, we find some interesting thoughts. First, it is used as an adjective, a noun or adverb. As an adjective it has six definitions. We will look at 1) kept from public or a certain person’s knowledge, 5) concealed from sight or notice as in “a secret drawer”, 6) acting in secret as in “a secret society.” As a noun, it has four common definitions. The third definition is “the true cause or explanation, regarded as not obvious as in ‘the secret of one’s ‘success’.” The sense of secret is that which is unknown or not exposed. Be careful for acting in secret is how you destroy trust!


There are some definite signs or symptoms of things being done in secret. Those things that are intimate between two people; conversations that are whispered and actions that are puzzling do smack of secret activities. When something is labeled as forbidden, it raises the issue of secrecy. Actions that appear to be stealthy suggest secrecy of action to escape detection. Also movement that hints at clandestine activities brings questions of illicit or immoral behavior. What you do may seem innocent to you, but to others it can appear to be secretive . To avoid accusations of secrecy, just be truthful!


Have you ever been frustrated because something was done, you were held responsible for it but was never told? Yes, many of us. That kind of frustration comes because of people who do things in secret, many times with deliberate intent, and cause trouble. Having secrets is very seldom a good thing. If something is being done, and you cannot be truthful and open about it, you need to rethink about what you are doing. That said, if you want to keep my Christmas present a secret that’s OK. I’ll enjoy it in spite of the secrecy!


Secrets and relationships are not a good combination. When two people in a relationship have secrets that the other does not know about that is a flashpoint zone. It is like throwing gasoline on a fire because secrecy fuels distrust and doubts. Distrust and doubts are relationship killers. Trust and openness are key ingredients to a good long-term relationship. A secret in a relationship is a shutting out of the other and will eventually create a darkness and foreboding spirit that dampens confidence. Don’t cloud the issues, bring the light!

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