Monthly Archives: March 2013

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Figures of Speech: Keys to Effective Communication

By John W. Schoenheit

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The ability to communicate with words is one thing that sets mankind apart from all other creatures. God is the Author of language, and no one has ever used language as precisely as God does in the Bible, including His use of figures of speech, of which there are more than 200 varieties in Scripture.[1] When most people say, “a figure of speech,” they are speaking in general terms of something that is not true to fact. However, genuine “figures of speech” are legitimate grammatical and lexical forms that add emphasis and feeling to what we say and write. In the Bible, God uses figures of speech to emphasize things that He wants us to see as important. Many people who read the Bible never think to ask themselves, “How do we know what God wants emphasized in His Word?” God uses figures of speech to put emphasis where He wants emphasis, so it is important that we recognize and properly interpret the figures of speech in the Bible. Knowing the figures of speech God uses in the Bible helps us to understand the true meaning of Scripture and enables us to more fully enjoy its richness.

The figure of speech we are going to study in this issue of The Sower is “idiom.” An idiom is the use of a word or words in a way that is peculiar to a language or group of people in that it has a meaning that cannot be derived from the literal meaning of the word or words. An idiom is a legitimate figure of speech that is used for emphasis, although sometimes the idiom becomes such an imbedded part of the language that it is no longer considered an idiom but becomes an accepted meaning of the word, and the emphasis is lost. Idioms are so common that sometimes it can be hard to communicate without using them. Idioms have to be individually learned because the meaning of the words is not literal, but assigned by the culture.

Every language has thousands of idioms, and some idioms are common enough to human experience that they exist in many cultures. Both the Bible and English, for example, speak of the “face” of the earth despite the fact that the earth has no “face.” There are many idioms in the Bible, and if we are going to understand it, we must understand them. Some idioms in the Bible are individual words or phrases, while some involve the way nouns or verbs are used.

The sun of righteousness
An idiomatic phrase in the Bible is the “sun of righteousness.” God is referred to as “light” in the Bible. It makes perfect sense, then, that the Son of God, who revealed the Father and brought light to the world, would be idiomatically called “the sun of righteousness” and the “sunrise from on High.”

Malachi 4:2
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.[2]
I can remember reading this verse as a new Christian and knowing that it referred to Jesus Christ, but not knowing why he was called the “sun” and not the “son.” The answer is that in the biblical idiom, Jesus was the sun because he brought the light of his Father to the world. Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, referred to Jesus as the rising sun.

Luke 1:78
because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven

This verse makes no sense if you do not know the idiom. How can the “rising sun” come from heaven? The sun comes from below the horizon and rises up into heaven. However, when we know the idiom, that the “rising sun” is the Messiah, the verse makes perfect sense.

The Prophetic Perfect
An idiom that we of Spirit & Truth Fellowship have spent considerable time writing about is the “prophetic perfect.” In that idiom, a future action that is certain to occur is spoken of in the past tense as if it had already occurred. Doing this emphasizes the certainty of the event happening.[3] For example, speaking of the return of Jesus Christ, the NASB quite literally translates Jude 1:14 as, “the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones.” Of course saying a future event has already occurred can be confusing to the beginning Bible student. Thus, some translators try to make it easy for the Bible student by translating the verse into English as a present or future tense (cp. the NIV, “the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones).

Hebrew active verbs can express an attempt
The way the Hebrew language views verbs, an active verb does not have to mean the action is accomplished, but only attempted. This seems very strange to the Western mind, and makes some verses confusing.

Exodus 8:16-18 (KJV)
(16) And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
(17) And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice…all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
(18) And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not…

The difficulty in the verses above is that the magicians “did so,” but they “could not.” What we need to understand is that the verb “did so” can idiomatically mean, “tried to do so.” The NIV in Exodus 8:18 translates the idiomatic use of the verb right into the verse, making it easier for us: “But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.” Another example of this idiomatic use of active verbs is in Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 24:13 (KJV):
…because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged…

The King James Version translates the verbs in a straightforward manner, but it is confusing. How can God purge the people, but they are not purged? The NIV translates the idiomatic use of the verb into the English so we can understand the verse better: “…because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed…”

Idioms of the language are one reason that simply having a lexicon and concordance will never be enough to fully understand the Bible. At some point we must read and understand the original languages as they were spoken. Thankfully, we have many very good resources such as critical commentaries to help us more completely understand the Bible.



India Arie Accused Of Lightening Skin, Singer Looks Very Different On ‘Cocoa Butter’ Cover (UPDATED)
The Huffington Post | By Julee Wilson
Posted: 03/29/2013 3:37 pm EDT | Updated: 03/29/2013 7:07 pm EDT


Is that you, India Arie?

The 37-year-old star is almost unrecognizable in the cover image from her new single “Cocoa Butter,” which is causing a lot of backlash and many to believe that she has been lightening her skin. This is quite a shock considering the afro-centric R&B singer is known for promoting black beauty– most notably expressed in her hit songs “Brown Skin” and “I Am Not My Hair.”

Sources close to India told TMZ that her “lightened” skin tone is the result of the camera flash and angle. And added that the singer never asked to be lightened. Nevertheless, the celebrity website makes the valid point that India approved the photo without correcting the color of her skin.

Check out this photo TMZ pulled together on India’s “Cocoa Butter” cover and an Image from 2012 to highlight the stark difference:

We’re also a bit confused about this image since India recently spoke out about the skin color controversy surrounding the Nina Simone biopic. Extremely upset by the photos of Zoe Saldana’s darkened skin and fake afro on set for the film, India wrote the following on her website:

“Yes there should be a movie made, and YES they should have chosen someone who LOOKS like Nina Simone, ESPECIALLY since her RACE played such a PIVOTAL role in WHO, WHAT and WHY, she was.”

Issues surrounding skin aren’t uncommon in show business. You might recall that Beyonce has been accused on several occasions (see: here and here) of lightening her skin as well. And Kelly Rowland recently spoke out about the path towards learning to appreciate her dark skin.

What do you think of India Arie’s “Cocoa Butter” photo? Do you believe she lightened her skin on purpose?

UPDATE: India Aria has responded to the accusations with a Tweet and longer statement on her Facebook page.

Love to all #SoulBirdsWorldWide are you ready for this #SongVersation ?
Personally speaking! I’m happy to say I have NOT BLEACHED my skin LOL! ROTF at the thought.

1. I wouldn’t endanger my health that way

2. i’m so in love with myself I have no DESIRE to BLEACH myself. Lol

3. The GLOW you see IS (magnificent) lighting

4. THE LIGHT you see, Well thats all ME!!

Politically speaking racism/colorism in the black community is a MUUUUUUUCH larger #SongVersation #skinversaton

THAT I’d LOVE to “shed light on”..that conversation IS REAL, …let’s keep talking. #SongVersation #soulbirdsworldwide

Big love to ALL #soulbirdsworldwide



Convicted felon, repeat border violator sentenced for illegally re-entering US
ATLANTA – A Jamaican criminal alien with prior felony convictions for the possession and distribution of marijuana was sentenced to more than 7 years in federal prison Tuesday for illegally re-entering the United States following a prior removal. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested the man July 5, 2012, in Atlanta.
“This case is a prime example of ICE enhancing public safety by identifying and detaining a felon who has violated federal immigration law,” said Felicia S. Skinner, field office director of ERO Atlanta. Skinner oversees ERO activities in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Paul Rudolph McGowan, 41, was previously removed from the United States in October 1995 and December 2011. He illegally re-entered the country at an unknown time and was arrested by ERO officers following a tip from the public. McGowan has a lengthy criminal history in the United States, including three felony convictions for possession and distribution of marijuana.
McGowan was successfully prosecuted on the felony re-entry charge by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
Overall, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 ICE removed 409,849 individuals. Of these, approximately 55 percent, or 225,390 of the people removed, were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors – almost double the removal of criminals in FY 2008.
This includes 1,215 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,557 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 40,448 aliens convicted for crimes involving drugs; and 36,166 aliens convicted for driving under the influence. ICE continues to make progress with regard to other categories prioritized for removal. Some 96 percent of all ICE’s removals fell into a priority category – a record high.


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What causes PCOS remains a mystery, but we do know that PCOS sufferers have a higher sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity than other women so it may be that the acupuncture is calming the SNS and thus leading to a reduction in symptoms. In Chinese medicine PCOS is usually attributed to Kidney Yang Deficiency (poor metabolism) and Damp Accumulation (fluid filled cysts) and has been treated for hundreds of years using a combination of herbs and acupuncture. Some herbs such as zao jiao ci (Spina Gleditsiae Sinensis) have the ability to dissolve the waxy coat around the ovarian cysts and at the YinOva Center we use them as part of a larger formula to reduce cysts. Other herbs such as bu gu zhi (psoralea) and xian mao (circuligo) help metabolic slowdown and insulin resistance and at the YinOva Center we usually combine them with herbs that calm an overactive system such as huang jing (polygonatum) and herbs that balance hormones such as dang gui (tangkuei). In our book Making Babies we give the following advice to PCOS sufferers

Lose weight if you need to. Studies have shown that losing just 10% of your body weight can result in normal ovulation in women with PCOS
Cut down on animal fats and increase essential fatty acids
Eat a wide range of fruits, vegetables and low fat protein such as chicken, fish and beans.
Balance your blood sugar by limiting your carbohydrate intake. Don’t cut out carbs altogether, though, as that can lower serotonin levels and leave you feeling depressed. Instead eat healthy carbs such as whole grains.
Take N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) to help reduce circulating testosterone, cholesterol, plasma triglycerides, low density lipoproteins and insulin.
Get plenty of anti-oxident nutrients from foods and supplements. They fight inflammation which can exacerbate PCOS.
Get regular exercise to increase your metabolism. Aim for a half hour of brisk walking a day.
Practice stress management. Stress stimulates the production of more hormones, including testosterone, which makes PCOS worse. Try yoga meditation or a warm bath.
See an acupuncturist for help restoring ovulation.
See an herbalist about creating a formula that reduces cysts and balances hormones.
Allow at least three months of treatment before trying to conceive. Follicles exposed to excess androgens will be of poor quality and lead to higher risk of miscarriage.


Eat foods low on the Glycemic Index (GI) such as vegetables and whole grains. It is very important for women with PCOS to completely avoid refined carbohydrates which include: sugar (pop and candy), white flour, whole wheat flour and products made from them (pasta, breads, desserts, etc.)
Keep your blood sugar stable by eating regularly – every three to five hours is ideal and making sure that you include some protein and good fats (for example some nuts or seeds and their butters, eggs, humus etc.) at each meal. Protein foods take up to 5 hours to digest while carbohydrate foods digest within 30 minutes and can spike your blood sugar.
Eat at least five servings a day of vegetables including at least two of leafy greens (kale, broccoli, collard greens, bok choy, cabbage, rapini, etc..) Leafy greens contain indole-3 carbinol, which helps to regulate liver function which is key in glucose and hormone metabolism.
Have a regular servings of legumes like black beans, adzuki beans, mung beans, black-eyed peas etc.. Adzuki beans are beneficial in draining ‘dampness’ from the body.
Eat organic meats only. You can have red meat up to 3 times/week but make sure it is organic and grass-fed (when meat has been grain fed it changes the fats from healthy omega 3 fats to omega 6’s)
Eat at least three daily servings of fruits like berries –which are lower on the glycemic index and high in anti-oxidants
Include cinnamon into your diet daily as it helps to reduce insulin resistance
Include bitter Melon and fenugreek – help to regulate blood glucose
Include complex carbohydrate such as whole grain cereals, quinoa, brown rice, etc.

Insure adequate fiber intake (should be 30g/day), by eating a lots of fresh vegetables and whole grains

It is very important that women with PCOS avoid all refined sugars (white and brown sugars, fructose, sucrose, corn syrup) and simple sugars (maple syrup, honey etc). (Lower sugar intake by avoiding intake of simple sugar that helps to prevent further impaired glucose metabolism)
No refined carbohydrate (white bread, pasta, potatoes, white rice, most breakfast cereals, rice cakes, popcorn, or any starchy, low fiber food)
Avoid artificial sweeteners (which are shown to affect the insulin levels the same way sugar does)
Pay careful attention to portion sizes in order to moderate glucose load and minimize insulin resistance. Opt for smaller and more regular meals than bigger and more spaced out ones.
Avoid sodas, fruit juice and drinks that raise the blood glucose rapidly (i.e. Energy drinks, Gatorade or any drink with refined sugar)
Avoid milk and dairy products (cheese and yogurt), which are considered as ‘damp’ foods and will exacerbate the problem. Try substituting unsweetened almond milk as an alternative to cow’s milk.
Other tips:

Include some form of moderate exercise (yoga, pilates, walking etc) for at least 30 min/day. Studies have shown that exercise can reverse diabetes and improve insulin sensitivity as well as help with weight control.
Lose some weight (Fat cells store estrogen which can have a direct influence on pcos and fertility. Losing even a moderate amount of weight if you are overweight can have a significant improvement)
Love your liver (Your liver is important in insulin metabolism, so it is important to keep your liver functioning well. Adding vitamin B complex to your daily routine will help to restore liver normal function in insulin balancing. Also be sure to include leafy green vegetables daily and be sure to watch your stress level and moods. If you’re agitated easily and find yourself frustrated regularly, include some stress management tools into your daily life: meditation, visualization and regular exercise all help.
Get regular acupuncture. A study at Goteborg University in Sweden showed that electro-acupuncture may help 38% of women with PCOS women ovulate. Acupuncture can help to restore the ratio of LH and FSH, reduce the level of testosterone and beta-endorphin. Some studies show that acupuncture also helps to shrink of the weight of polycystic ovaries, which can enhance ovulation and egg implantation. Weekly acupuncture is ideal.

Chlorophyll -reduces symptoms of hypoglycaemia without raising blood glucose level. You can buy liquid chlorophyll at the health food store and add it to your water and sip it throughout the day
Probiotics (the healthy bacteria found in your intestinal tract). Foods which promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract include whole grains, onions, bananas, garlic, honey, leeks, artichokes and some fortified foods. Probiotic can be taken in supplement/capsule form (although dairy/yogurt does include probiotics, it is not in a therapeutic dose and it is best to avoid dairy products foods for women with pcos).
B Vitamin
Fish oil
Alpha lipoic acid



100 Things I Want to Teach MY Daughter
Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of body.
The benefit of the doubt is sometimes the best gift we can give our friends.
There will always be mean girls – that doesn’t mean we find a tower and Rapunzel ourselves away from the world.
Your daddy has loved you better and longer than any boy ever will.
Your brothers will teach you how boys should treat you.
You’re always welcome in my wardrobe.
The world needs your point of view.
Food is a joy.
Your body is strong and capable of more than you can imagine right now.
Ice cream is a love language.
Cook, decorate, clean, organize because you love to, not because someone tells you you’re meant to.
Music makes everything better.
Dance – especially when you’re doing the laundry.
You’ll never be too old for me to rock you.
Nothing you tell me will ever make me want to stop hearing from you.
We need your story.
No prayer request is ever too small, too silly or too embarrassing to share.
Washing your face every night is the best kind of beauty routine.
Sunscreen – you got my British genes.
Mr. Darcy and popcorn make for a perfect evening.
Blue eyes really do melt hearts.
Betty Crocker’s chocolate fudge is the best in the world.
A good movie can change how you understand someone else.
Words can build bridges between people.
Home is not where we live but who we love.
Gumboot dancing.
Your name holds a special meaning for us.
Inevitably I will splinter your heart. But we will tweeze it out together.
You taught me how to feel beautiful.
Staying up late to read a good book is never time wasted.
Good girls aren’t boring.
A great mascara is always worth the investment.
4pm high tea is one of the best parts of being part South African.
The “mommy wars” are a myth; we’re all in this together.
The best way never to worry about anyone gossiping about you is never to gossip about anybody.
Saying sorry first is a sign of strength not a weakness.
I’m on your side; especially on the days when it doesn’t feel like it.
Your body is not just yours. It’s a gift for your husband. I promise it’s worth waiting to unwrap together.
Sex for the first time will require a beautiful sense of humor and a partner who’s in it for life.
The movies lie. Passion isn’t a contorted exercise on a marble staircase, it’s doing the dishes together and lying with your feet touching in bed at the end of a long day.
Marriage is an act of courage, commitment and sacrifice. It’s also the most fun you’ll ever have with your best friend.
Always fight fair. But don’t be afraid to fight.
Long hair requires a really good conditioner.
God says He has made all things beautiful – that includes you, my love – no matter how you feel about your body
Fashion is not my forte; I look forward to learning from you.
I love the curves you and your brothers added to my body.
A good cryis great therapy.
Christian women aren’t immune from cliques. Love on regardless.
Bad hair days are inevitable.
A strong man is never threatened by a strong woman.
Go big even if it means failing big. Especially then.
Be the friend you wish you had.
You can’t control what others think about you. Let it go.
A first kiss should be toasted, treasured, savored.
I will be your best friend. But I will be your mother more.
Your dad will teach you about music. He has the best eclectic taste.
You can’t go wrong with The Civil Wars
Stop for sunsets.
Prince Charming isn’t a fairytale, he’s a myth
Daughters teach us about our mothers. You gave me back my mom.
Jesus loves you for you. Not for your ability to bear children.
Husbands need a wife. Not another mom.
It’s true what they say about childbirth and then some.
Love waits.
Patience is never wasted.
Don’t just Instagram your life. Live it.
Dad will be the one helping you with math homework.
Don’t be afraid of a broken heart.
The only thing holding you back from making a difference in the world will be yourself.
South African pancakes are better than American ones.
Girlfriends are the best kind of free therapy there is.
Don’t be afraid to be foolish.
Real life is always better than online.
A good friend loves at all times. Period.
Read everything written by Madeleine L’Engle.
Eating too much nerds candy will be something your teeth make you regret in your thirties.
I’m more interested in your growth than your happiness.
I will earthquake wide open when you hurt. And I will always come when you call.
If it makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t do it, wear it or say it.
Challenge yourself.
Walk across the Charles Bridge in Prague.
Learn at least one other language.
Cross-cultural marriage is much harder than you can ever imagine when you first fall in love. But worth it.
Homesickness never gets easier.
But Dramamine is the perfect cure for motion sickness on 18 hour flights.
We need each other.
Bad haircuts grow out eventually.
You will love again.
The painful truth is always easier than a messy lie.
Jesus loves you, this I know. In my heart, my bones, my soul.
There’s no such thing as perfect.
You can always come home.
Nothing will make me love you less.
Nothing will make me love you more.
The mirror is not the boss of you.
You’re the most brave when you’re the most scared and keep going anyway.
Womanhood is a gift.
I’m never tired of being your mother.
You will always be my baby girl.
Go ahead, pass it on – encourage another mom! But kindly don’t re-post this entire list, just share a few bullets and then link back over here. Thank you. Brave, wonderful, you.

This wild journey of motherhood, it’s inspiring a book –



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