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Week 1 Surrender Week 2 Weird Week 3 Volition Week 4 Love Week 5 New


Our word this week is one that brings us a lot of feelings, especially, negative emotions. This word carries a lot of unkind turmoil for the males in our species. As we look at this word, we will see both good things and bad things about it. It depends upon our attitude. In the phrase, surrendering all hope, this brings mental pictures to mind of futility and frustration. It removes positive motivation. When we surrender to a positive influence that act will bring us to the good things in life. Don’t abandon, keep hope alive!


There are four primary definitions used as a verb form. It is also sometimes used as a noun although not frequently except in the insurance industry. Surrender means to give up possession of or power over something or someone. It is a yielding to another on demand or compulsion. Surrender also means to give up or abandon as in “surrendering all hope.” It also means to yield or resign oneself to something or someone. Don’t wave the white flag, give up but don’t give in!


Surrender is one of those words that puts us in a defensive mood. How do we know the signs or symptoms of someone who has surrendered? Or, when are we about to surrender? These are both good questions and there are no easy answers. When we are ready to give up our possession of something or relinquish our control or hand over control to someone else that is a good sign of surrender. If the outcome of that surrender is positive it’s OK. If the outcome is negative, beware. Take the consequences!


How does surrender affect or impact our daily lives? Several words come to mind: deliver, hand over, succumb, relinquish. Each of these words carry a direction or action that relieves us of something. The impact may be good, but it also can be bad. To hand over is like in a robbery or succumb as to great pressure upon us. When we deliver or relinquish something, it can be what is expected of us as part of a contract or agreement. Surrender can also mean to extradite as in remove or take something out of harm’s way. But can we surrender our bad habits? We wish!


It is most appropriate today for us to talk about relationships, surrender and why we remember this day, December 7. It was 71 years ago today that Japan attacked the U.S. Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. How did that happen? It happened because the relationship between the U.S. and Japan was broken. They could reach no compromise. The failure to reach a suitable agreement strained the relationship between the two countries and it was broken when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The final outcome was the surrender of Japan that helped to end WWII. Be careful of bad relationships. War can result!

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Our word this week could raise eyebrows. Much of the time weird is used by younger generations as a slang expression. Halloween is another part of the year when this word appears in greater use. The sense of weird is something that is not ordinary and brings thoughts of the most unusual happenings. Oddly enough, an obsolete use of this word was by the Scots for fate or destiny. Do you look forward to a “weird” destiny? Don’t let fate play oddball tricks on you!


Of the three definitions for weird, one is obsolete and two are mostly used. Weird is normally used in the sense of or about ghosts, evil spirits or other supernatural things. We understand it as being unearthly, mysterious or eerie. Weird is also explained as strikingly odd or strange as in fantastic, bizarre as in a weird costume. It can also be taken as being eccentric, erratic or unconventional in behavior. We can also understand it to mean “weird out” a slang expression of a bizarre experience. Don’t be weird, be straight!


As the Christmas season approaches, we would not expect to see weird signs, but if you have watched Miracle on 34th Street about Kris Kringle, you will see something weird. At Macy’s department store, they have hired a new Santa for Christmas. His name is Kris Kringle and through a series of events, he is accused of being crazy and to be committed to a mental ward. Isn’t it odd that if you have money, you are said to be eccentric when you do weird things, but if you are poor, you are said to be mentally unbalanced if you do weird things. Don’t be weird, keep your balance positive!


Have you ever had an experience where the hair on the back of your neck feels odd? If so, you have felt the impact of a strikingly odd or strange event. When you walk into an old, dark and vacant house you will sometimes experience the sense of the mysterious and eerie. Usually we have this strange feeling because of superstitious stories that we have heard. Odd or unconventional behavior will also give us that “weird” feeling. So, don’t weird out, just think straight!


Is it a good day to talk about weird relationships? Probably not, yet we must. It is hoped that weird relationships are a small number of those relationships that do exist. To say that such relationships are unconventional is normal. But how do we say that a relationship is weird? Odd or unconventional behavior would be one indicator. It might also be identified as erratic or eccentric. Spaced out or kooky relationships really belong to another world. Is your relationship unearthly? Let’s get your feet back on the ground!

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Our word –volition– comes to us from the French word volitio. It basically means “I wish” in the sense of an act of the will. It is a wish upon which you have decided to act. I wish I could get this work done quickly, so I will start. It is a thought upon which you have acted by making a choice. All of us as thinking beings have the right to act upon our will. As the Nike ad booms out, Just Do It!


Volition is a fairly simple word to define. It has three basic meanings. The first is the act of using the will: exercise of the will as in deciding what to do. Next is that of: a conscious or deliberate decision or choice thus made; and finally the power or faculty of using the will. This noun is a much used term in theology and how we are able to choose what we believe. To have faith is a volitional choice of the will. Choose wisely!


The third definition of volition is the one we most associate with a sign or symbol. It is the power of faculty of using our will. For instance, when we act upon a desire or make a choice, we are taking a volitional action. The sign is what we are motivated to do. It is the result of a willful act. When we have a preference or elect to do a certain deed or routine, we have exercised our volition. It is this ability to make a willful choice that helps to distinguish us as humans from other animals. Don’t shrink from making a choice, do it freely!


There are consequences to using our will volitionally. There is an impact. When we make decisions, they should be done with much care and deliberation. We make choices each and every day. Some choices are easy because we make them frequently and they become habitual. We should examine our habits on a regular basis to make sure they are good. Bad habits should be recognized and overcome. The impact of bad habits is that they put us into the inferior decision mode. Don’t get into that mode, be careful!


Volition has much bearing upon relationships. Seldom do we see a relationship where there is no active exercise of the will. If there is no choice, can it be called a relationship? Most people will agree to what they will or won’t do in their associations with others. When free will is lacking there can be no good relationship. Therefore choose your associates carefully. The kind of interactions in a relationship have a great impact upon whether they are positive or negative. Insensitivity hinders, sensitivity enhances!

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It is Christmas week and our word has many meanings. As Christmas is the time of giving, it is hoped that we give to others because we love them. This word runs a sweep of meanings from love of self to a sacrificial love for others. It runs the gamut of what we understand as a range of emotional responses to many things from our spouses, significant others, to our children and close family. It can carry even negative senses if we allow it. Let’s respond in a positive, loving manner to all!


Love defined: as a noun, it has 9 meanings and as a verb, it has 4. We will touch only the most used definitions. Sexual passion or intercourse is the most commonly understood meaning. A strong, passionate, affection of one person for another as in husband and wife is another common usage as a noun. In the verb form, we think of it as an emotion of feeling toward another. It is also understood as something we delight in or that pleases us. However, at this Christmas time, we must also remember that God loves us; so much that He sent His only son as a love gift to all humanity!


The fourth definition of our word gives us a clue as to how we can see signs or signals of love. This shows us movement of love in the fourth definition as in “to gain benefit from.” The example is “a plant that loves sun.” To show this the plant turns to or toward the sun. It is this movement that signals the fondness or affection of the plant toward what it loves. So to it is with human nature. It is common for one to turn toward or show attention to that to which we are highly attracted. Sometimes that attention can take on uncommon forms. Don’t ignore attention, it could be love!


Have you ever had the experience of being on the mountain top one minute and one minute later be in the depths of the valley? Yeah. Love can be that way. It is that emotional rollercoaster that we ride when we first fall in love. But is this the true impact of what love is? Let us look at what love should be: patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, and is not proud. These thoughts from the NT book of 1 Corinthians, chapter 13:4-5 give us some ways in which love should impact others as well as ourselves. Don’t be me focused, be they focused!


Today, we will ask a question about love in a relationship. Can any relationship continue for any period of time without love? To answer this question, we must look at and understand the various nuances of the word. In the Greek, love was understood to have three basic meanings. These are phileo, eros and agape. Simply these are brotherly love, erotic love or arousal and God-like love. For a good marriage relationship, it must contain some aspect of all three love types. Marriage partners need to be good friends (phileo), they need to be physically stimulated in their relationship (eros) and they need God’s love (agape) to be part of their marriage. Missing something? Till death do us part should have real meaning!

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On this New Year’s Eve of 2012, we close the book on a tumultuous 365 days. In so doing, we look forward to that which is new and our word to start this year to come. New. This little, short three letter word projects so much promise. A new beginning, a new resolution, a new path are all filled with newness. So much promise rings out of this word, but what will this our New Year bring us? New gives us an indication of the future. It will not be exactly the same as the old year and it holds the hope of better things to come. Let’s not be negative, surprise yourself and think new!


Happy New Year! New has twelve different shades of meaning as an adjective and two as an adverb. How in the world do you understand what it means? To answer this, we will look at how most people would use it. Most think of new as never existing before, never thought of or produced or made as in a new product. We know of course that the first day of each new year has not existed before, so time moves on and we move into the unknown of what the year will bring. We will have a new understanding of events that occur and a new appreciation of change that occurs. We will sense movement either forward, backward or at a standstill, but time knows only one direction: forward into the “newness” of the New Year. Time has no reverse! Keep on moving!


New symptoms? What a loaded question. It could apply to one’s medical condition, state of mind or the status of the economy. How then, do we interpret the true meaning of “new symptoms”? Think first of what “newness” means as in having just reached a certain position, rank or place. Also, it is the sense of more or additional as you already have some symptoms, but you now have additional or new symptoms. In this sense, it would probably be related to a medical condition or illness. In some cases, it could relate to one’s mental state as someone observing actions that are uncharacteristic of the one being observed. For those new symptoms, go slow and don’t panic!


When we think of the word ‘new’ what comes to mind? Some of the thoughts that may cross our mind are something novel, a fresh start and uncontaminated. As we begin this New Year let’s think about these seven things that we might do. Start with a new beginning as in turn over a new leaf. Focus on new possibilities this year may have. Put into motion some new plans. Find a new purpose for what we do. Make new provisions for the future. Resolve to have new growth in a vital area. And most importantly, try to do things with a new wisdom. Don’t procrastinate, make that fresh start!


As we wind up this week’s exploration of the word ‘new,’ it would be incomplete if we did not examine how it applies to our relationships. New associations with others, both male and female, can be charged with emotions. Having a new friend is a great thing. Discovering a new business associate can be both good and bad because it will bring change in how we have been doing things. Finding that lifetime partner is a truly exciting discovery. Newness in relationships is good because it challenges us to be our best and to find the best in others as well as ourselves. Let’s give up those old barren connections and build on strong, new relationships!

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