I Am Only Words

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt me. I laugh at that one. Do they not know the power of me? Do they not know what I can do?

I am words. Only words. The funny thing about me is that I may move you, my reader. But yet another of my readers may not be moved at all. I can make you feel sad one day and you could look at me another day and feel happy. Fickle thing feelings are. It all depends on how you feel when you read me.

Some people are so good at using me that you can remember what they wrote many years later. Other people, even though what they wrote touched you at the moment, you forget the next day. Sometimes the next hour.

Put me to music and it is a whole new ball game. Music from yesteryear can evoke many memories, some good, some bad.  I can make you move fast or slow. Well, technically it is the music but I control how the music is played.

Do you remember the song on the radio the first time you were kissed? Your wedding dance song? The day you lost a loved one? I can bring you happy and sad memories, all in the same song. I can make you smile, I can make you cry. Happy the first time you heard it, sad when you hear it now.

Do you see the power I have now? When spoken in truth I can help people live a better life. Sometimes I have to be spoken bluntly in truth. The receiver of me may not like me. When spoken in truth I am all powerful. No one can stand against me or deny me. I can make you feel good about yourself.

When spoken in lies, I can lead people astray. Lead them from where they want to be. Unfortunately, there are many people in this world that use me only to lead people astray, and they are quite good at using me this way. You won’t know until it’s too late that you have been following lies. I can bring you down, make you  feel worthless.

How can you know when I am being used for good or for evil ? Am I being used in the same way consistently? Do I stand the test of time? Do I build you up or tear you down ?

Did you know I can not only affect you but I can affect everything around you? Did your mom ever talk to the houseplant?  Ever hear of farmers talking to their crops? I can even affect water. Dr. Masaru Emoto did an interesting study (Messages From Water). He would say positive things to some water molecules and negative things to others. He would then instantly freeze them and took high speed pictures of them. Here are the results :

If I can do that to water, imagine what I do to someone you are talking to.

It has also been proven that positive words can actually change your brain structure.

In Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman book, Words Can Change Your Brain, they write: “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”

Positive words, such as “peace” and “love,” can alter the expression of genes, strengthening areas in our frontal lobes and promoting the brain’s cognitive functioning. They propel the motivational centers of the brain into action and build resiliency.

Conversely, hostile language can disrupt specific genes that play a key part in the production of neurochemicals that protect us from stress. Humans are hardwired to worry — part of our primal brains protecting us from threats to our survival — so our thoughts naturally go here first.

However, a single negative word can increase the activity in our amygdala (the fear center of the brain). This releases dozens of stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters, which in turn interrupts our brains’ functioning. (This is especially with regard to logic, reason, and language.) “Angry words send alarm messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers located in the frontal lobes,” write Newberg and Waldman.

According to the authors, using the right words can transform our reality:
By holding a positive and optimistic word in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain. Functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. Over time the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality. *

*Borchard, T. (2015). Words Can Change Your Brain. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 19, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/11/30/words-can-change-your-brain

Gives new meaning to to the phrase if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all doesn’t it?

Does anything about me that you have read hit home? Does it make you think more before you use me? If you use me the correct, positive way, I can change your life. I can change your brain, your way of thinking. I can change the environment. Be wise, I am a weapon, I am a healer.

But what do I know, I am only black lines on a piece of paper. I am only words.


Words by Hawk Nelson – 

Speak Life by TobyMac – 

Words Can Break Your Heart by Don Henley – 

My Words Have Power by Karen Clark Sheard – 

Words Are Weapons by Seether – 

Words Are Weapons by Birdy – 

Words Are Medicine by Tim McGraw – 

Words by Train – 

Words Of Life by Big Daddy Weave – 

The Words I Would Say by Sidewalk Prophets – 

When You Look In The Mirror

When my wife and I went through our troubled times a few years back, I wrote on the mirror – Who do you want to be today? It was a daily reminder that when we looked in the mirror, we had a choice that day to do the right thing and live for God or do the wrong thing. It was our choice.

It is your choice who you want to be today. Do you want to be a bully? Do you want to put others down and make fun of them? Do you want to make a change and make your corner of the world a better place? God gave us free will. He let’s us choose what we will do with this time we spend on this earth.

I don’t understand bullies. I don’t understand taking your frustrations out on someone that is weaker than you. Why don’t bullies pick on someone that can fight back? Unfortunately, bullies develop early in childhood. Some reasons are lack of love, lack of attention, they see their parents be bullies, they lack social skills, etc.  Psychologists have determined that bullies are untroubled by anxiety, they have a strong need to dominate and derive satisfaction from their actions, they have little or no prosocial skills – they do not know how to relate to others. They also do not understand how little they are liked because their “friends” will encourage them, laugh with them etc when they do bully. I do know bullies are hurting also. They just don’t know how to express it. I do know that if they don’t learn how to that it affects them their entire lives, their relationships, their jobs, their kids.  Both bullies and their victims can be affected the rest of their lives by their actions.

The cycle can be stopped. It must be stopped.

Parents need to understand it is not boys will be boys or girls will be girls. It is a call for attention, albeit the wrong kind. Unfortunately us parents fail to see or choose not to see bullying-not sharing, throwing their toys at others- when the child is younger, which only enforces their belief that it is okay as they get older. Then as they get older parents are so consumed with work, bills, soccer practice, band practice, etc that we talk to our kids but don’t carry conversations with them on what is going on in their lives.

My wife and I have tried to raise all our girls the right way but we are a blended family and didn’t always get to teach them right. Other circumstances, Kayhla’s mom leaving her for Florida, also threw in some wrenches. For the most part I would like to believe they stand up for what they believe in and try their best to help others. I know since Kylie has been with us from birth that she has been raised to have high self esteem, to be aware of how her friends treat her, etc. I know a few times she has had trouble with a couple girls that were mean to her and she tried to talk to and be nice to and when that didn’t work she asked the teacher to move her seat so she could do her work. She also asked to have a one on one meeting with one of the girls and her teacher to discuss the issues at hand.

I can tell you I have always stood up to bullies. Most of the time when someone came at me, I stood my ground. I have never been in a fight but I have never backed down. I can tell you one story at my last job where I was the transportation manager at a scrap yard where we have some unsavory customers. My boss, who was a bully, said we were going to work until five one Christmas Eve. We had always closed at one in the past. No one said a word, except for me and I said no. We work six days a week, if we work until five we will miss Christmas Eve services, we have family to see and it isn’t right and I won’t work and neither will anyone else. He didn’t like it but sent out an email asking for everyone else’s opinion. They all said he was wrong. We closed at one that day.  Maybe I have just got lucky or maybe God has always been watching out for me but in my experience, if you don’t back down, they usually walk away (I know this isn’t always true though). I have also just walked away from people, sometimes you have to be the bigger person and just walk away. Each situation is different.

I would like to say I have never been a bully but I have. When my wife made some poor choices, I berated her constantly. I wouldn’t let it drop. I was a bully. I was hurt and I wanted her to hurt. I should’ve been more Christ-like. I am human though and I am sure at one point in our lives, most of us have done something that we would consider as bully behavior. Gossip, talking about someone behind their back, putting something on social media, anything that would hurt someone else. It is so easy to always look at the negative in people but everyone has good qualities also.

We have the power to build others up. Say something nice. It doesn’t take much to say nice job on that test, you did a good job on that project, nice to see you today, anything positive that comes from the heart and is genuine.

I wouldn’t want to be the one that caused someone else to hurt themselves or even commit suicide. I don’t know how I could ever look at myself in the mirror if I did.

Again, I don’t think my words came out like I wanted them to but I hope God uses them to touch someone on this issue. You can make a difference. Be a positive role model.

When you look in the mirror will you feel good about yourself? Did you help or did hurt today? Today our mirror has on it God, Trust, Pray, Believe, Hope, Faith. It is our choice that that is who we want to be.

Teen bullying –

Reverse the Trend by Reverse Order – 

Mean by Taylor Swift – 

Hopeful by Bars and Melody – 

Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – 

Hey Bully by Morgan Frazier – 

Because of You by Kelly Clarkson – 

Words by Hawk Nelson – 

Speak Life by TobyMac – 

I Hate Hate by About A Mile – 

Dare To Be Different by Rachael Lynn – 

Breathe Me by Sia – 

Build You Up by Kim Taylor – 

Mean Girls by Rachel Crow – 

Stand Up by Mike Tompkins – 

Even Though I Say by Saint Asonia – 

Bully by Shinedown – 

Bully by Three Days Grace – 

Small Town by Thousand Foot Krutch – 

Fight Song by Rachel Platten – 

Somethings Gotta Give by All Time Low – 

Burn Bright by Natalie Grant – 

Made To Glow by Shine Bright Baby –

World Changers by Matthew West – 

World Changers by Audio Adrenaline – 

Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson – 

A Constant In A World Of Changes

Change (verb) – to become different, to make someone or something different, to become something else

I was talking to my daughter Kylie the other day and I said something like it ain’t that far to walk. She told me where we live, not from where I am from – small town in Southeastern Ohio –  that we use proper grammar here.

I told my mom this story and she told me ain’t is now in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. That had me thinking what else has been added. Words that have been added this year are emoji, meme, twerk, and photobomb along with 1696 other words. Some of last years words were hashtag, selfie, tweep, and crowdfunding were among the 1900 new words added. Merriam-Webster also updates definitions of words as the way we use them changes.

Did you know they also take words out of the dictionary? Does that mean we should no longer use them? Words like cassette player, hodad, tattletale gray and nephoscope.

Change can be good. A lot of us try to avoid change because we are comfortable where we are, doing what we do. Change can be stressful. Loss of a loved one or a job. Birth of a child or new relationship. Move to a new house or city. Change can hurt a relationship if two people are changing in the opposite ways, or not changing at all.

A life without change can be boring. A life with too much change can be miserable. We change as we get older, we change as we mature. We change because of the people we are around – choose your friends wisely. We change because of our mistakes we make, and hopefully learn from. We change with the environment we live and where we live.

Have you ever tried to change someone? We can not change someone. We can show them, we can talk to them, we can be an example for them but in the end, they have to want to change. Even when we want to change, our will to change may not be enough to change us because of our sinful nature. Only God can change someone. God has changed my wife. God has changed me. Two and a half years ago we were on the brink of divorce.

Two things that will never change is God and His Word. God’s word will never change. God wants all people to read his word so it has been translated to many different languages but it will not change. For example, in English we have the King James Version which was translated back in 1611 A.D. It is still widely used today. Since then our language has developed and changed, so the translations have been updated to make The Bible more readable.The Old Testament is the beginning of time, the coming of the Messiah. The New Testament about the life and crucifixion of the Messiah. That doesn’t change in any language or update. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 and some of the scrolls have been dated to be as old as from 125BC. When comparing a copy of Isaiah from 125BC with the Isaiah in the Masoretic Text the prophesies of Jesus were the same. Just as it is in our bibles today.

I am not good with change. I am pretty set in my ways and routines. However, I thank God every day that He loved me enough to forgive me, to change me. I would not be who I am today without God changing me.

Have a great day! No matter what changes life throws at you today, let God be the constant in your life.

Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds – 

The Times They Are A Changin  by Bob Dylan – 

Lifetime by Emeli Sande – 

Changes by Tesla – 

Same As It Ever Was by Michael Franti – 

Winds of Change by Scorpions – 

Yes I’m Changing by Tame Impala – 

Laughter Lines by Bastille – 

Waiting For The World To Change by John Mayer – 

Changes by David Bowie – 

Changed by Rascal Flatts – 

Everlasting God by Lincoln Brewster – 

You’re There by City Harbor – 

Never Let Go by many but this one AJ Michalka – 

One Thing Remains by Kristian Stanfill – 

Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture – 

Whever The Wind Blows by Pillar – 

Some Things Never Change by Decyfer Down –