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President’s Corner

Word Work, Word Play

by Mary A. Hake, OCW President

I enjoy words. This isn’t news to anyone who knows me. I like to ponder the meaning of words, including their nuances and semantics. I can delight in the dictionary. I also love working with words—the creative energy of writing, using words to best advantage, arranging them for maximum effect, and especially finding just the right word or phrase to express what’s in my heart and head.

When connecting my words with the page, I consider not only what I’m attempting to communicate, but how the chosen words sound together and how they look when written. I try to avoid unnecessary repetition, and I detest grammar and punctuation errors. Don’t get me started on this pet peeve. (Sorry for the clichéd term—I usually shun those too.)

In addition to working with words professionally, I find fun in playing with words. I make up word games in my mind while waiting or doing mindless activities or hoping to fall asleep at night. This keeps the brain tuned and can even lead to new ideas for writing.

Speaking of writing, beyond the mere words chosen, I prayerfully seek God’s guidance for what to write and how to use what I write in His service and for His glory. That’s something I encourage us all to do. Remember to pray before composing, whether for personal use or publication.

We can say with the Psalmist: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14, 21st Century KJV). When our hearts are pure, what flows from them will be also. We can pour forth life-giving streams from the overflow we receive from Christ, our Living Water.

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