Jesus did what?

First, thanks to you guys who lent your encouragement after Thurday’s post.? They say it’s times such as these in which you find out who your friends really are.? I’ve known who you are for some time now, but I appreciate your comments and the phone call I got this morning.

Now, on to other things.? I read in a comment on a different blog the other day that Jesus “towed the line”? with respect to biblical law.? I’ve seen that expression used many times.

It’s stupid.

I doubt if Jesus ever towed a line.? I have no doubt, however, that he toed the line.? That’s the expression.? Toe the line.? As in horseshoes.? As in bowling.? As in archery or riflery.? As in Bozo’s Grand Prize Game.? You keep your toes behind the line, or you put your toes on the line.? You don’t allow your toes to cross the line.? You toe the line.? It means you’re paying close attention to the rules.

See, expressions mean things.? Even metaphorical ones.? Language makes sense.? “Tow the line” doesn’t make any sense.? If you don’t know what an expression means, or why it makes sense, don’t use it.? You can’t say what you mean if you don’t mean what you say.

I once had a student who turned in a paper in which he stated (in the introduction) that there were “several” reasons to support his thesis. ? He then went on to give about ten reasons.? I did not count off for his misuse of “several,”? but I did ask him if he knew what “several” meant.? He said, “many.”? I replied, “No, many means many.? Several means more than two or three but not many.? If you mean many, just say many.”

On an unrelated subject, what has happened to the accents in r?sum??? I have letters from people asking me for a resume or thanking me for a resume.? A resume?? Doesn’t resume mean to return to one’s prior activities?? How does one submit a resume?? I can, however, understand submitting a r?sum?.? That reminds me of a time when I was in college that I went to the grocery store for my mom.? On the shopping list she had written that she needed a can of “beef consume.”? I didn’t know what kind of beef she wanted to consume, so I brought home a can of beef consomm? instead.

It turns out that the beef consomm? was a reasonable substitute for the beef consume.


About revjatb

I am a father of six who is trying to do his best! My interests are varied. I have one blog, KnowTea, that is primarily focused on liturgy and worship and another one, Bengtsson's Baking, that is about, well, baking! I hope you enjoy both of them, and if you have any questions, please contact me!
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4 Responses to Jesus did what?

  1. Allison White Twigg says:

    Hello John. I haven’t stopped by in awhile. You were on my mind today and I came to your blog to see how things were with you and what words of wisdom you were giving! I wanted to comment on Thursday’s blog as well. Hang in there. I was reminded of a time in my own life/marriage/motherhood while reading your words. Thanks for being so honest about your feelings. Ministers have the same emotions as every one else. Let it rip! God loves you and knows those thoughts anyway! Hey, if I still lived in Florida and taught at the high school there, I would mail you some free Disney tickets!But North Carolinians don’t get all excited about Mickey like I do! Praying for you and your family.

  2. Laurel says:

    Ooh you touched an already-twitching nerve. R?sum?, consomm?, Mass?.
    S’il vous plait.

    And regarding your previous post, you might find R?n? Girard’s “I See Satan Fall Like Lightning” a valuable read. We are in a thick and tarry culture,well-trained to envy; Girard’s Gospel vision is particularly pertinent at this time of year.
    Also Bill McKibben’s little book, “Hundred Dollar Holiday”, which has been very helpful to me. I understand not having enough money; as an artist that is territory I visit often. Allison is so right, cancerman and the others, too. Yes, Virginia, ministers are living in the same cultural soup as the rest of us.
    The thing is, we are none of us alone. Even when – perhaps particularly when – we feel most alone. God is here.
    Friends are, too.

  3. MoDrig3 says:


    How _flustrating_ to have to read stuff written by – or listen to – people who _definately_ don’t know how to pronounce or spell simple words like _realator_, _athalete_, _nucular_, &c. I must have read the same blog post that you did because I remember encountering that very phrase last week and thinking, “are we losing the battle for understanding what we say?”

    On the previous post: I am praying for you, my dear brother. I learned [again] a couple of years ago that psychologists count ministry in the top 3 most stressful professions. But in reading your post, it was strikingly clear to me that your wife and children have a husband and father whose heart is 100% concerned with their welfare. I, too, wrestle with the implications my “career” bears for my family from time to time. There may not be an abundance of “stuff,” but there is wealth that is hard to quantify.

    May the Shalom of God guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus … and give you strength to deal with your own frustrations.

  4. RevJATB says:

    Laurel: touch?! You made me laugh out loud, which I really needed.

    Thank you all for your prayers and kindness. I am glad you all are “here,” far-flung though you may be. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

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