Posts Tagged ‘Steve Green’

Deuteronomy 13:4: From “gotta to gitta”

October 9, 2013


Verse 4 of Deuteronomy 13 incorporates the conjunction “and,” the most frequently used word in the King James Version of the Bible, being used 28,364 times.  The figure of speech known as polysyndeton involves using “many ands” where is there is emphasis placed on each item listed in any series connected by the conjunction. This figure is particularly noteworthy in the Verse of the Day for October 9, 2013, where “and” is used five times, symbolic of God’s grace.

The Amplified Bible renders the Verse of the Day in this way:

 You shall walk after the Lord your God

and [reverently] fear Him,

and keep His commandments

and obey His voice,

and you shall serve Him

and cling to Him

In reflecting upon the first three “ands” incorporated into the verse, “…walk …and fear…and keep…and obey…, “  I thought of the familiar hymn “Trust and Obey” which is magnificently displayed in the following video:

The fourth “and” indicates that we must “serve” the Lord, the phrase which brings to mind the song of commitment by Steve Green, “I Will Serve the Lord,” illustrated so powerfully in this video:

The final “and” precedes the phrase “cling to Him” which is expressed in a contemporary song “Cling to the Lord” by K-hos who perform on the following video which is dedicated to David Garcia:

The Verse of Day provides great exhortation as to what believers must do each day. Our actions are distilled into six verbs: “walk, fear, keep, obey, serve and cling.” In one sense, we could look upon this verse as indicating six actions on our daily “to do list,” actions that we have to do or “got to do.”  I suggest, however, making an adjustment in how we think about essential things that we “got to do.”  A number of years ago, a dear friend, Dr. Dale Sides , introduced the concept of changing our attitude from what we must do or “got to do” to thinking about what we have the privilege to do or “get to do.”  I shared the concept of changing our thinking from “gotta” to “gitta” with a friend and fellow teacher, Yolanda Stewart, who suggested that I express that concept in a poem to show just how important making such an attitude adjustment can be.  The poem seems ideally suited to the demands expressed in Deuteronomy 13:4:

From “Gotta” to “Gitta“

For Yolanda Stewart

 with gratitude to Dr. Dale Sides

who introduced the concept


Little biddy things can happen that don’t make sense.

Changing one little letter makes a big difference.

Subtle changes in the words we speak can change our mood:

From “gotta” to “gitta” shows a whole new attitude.


“I ‘gotta’ go to work and pass the time away”

Becomes “I ‘gitta’ go to work; I have a job today!”

“I ‘gotta’ take care of these kids—that’s another world”

Becomes “I ‘gitta’ nurture those who will someday change the world!”


Work heartily for the Lord whatever you do.

Remember in the end that He will reward you.

You may not agree with me, but it’s still so true,

Especially when you face tasks you don’t “wanna” do.

Some doors may close, but this key to life you will find:

Put off the old, put on the new–renew your mind.

“ ‘Gotta’ to ‘gitta’ ” is thinking of another kind.

Move ahead in faith, and you won’t be left behind.


We have to change in the midst of these changing times.

Standing on the mountain top is the one who climbs.

Changing how we think and what we say does make sense;

From “gotta” to “gitta” makes a really big difference.


The poem also brings to mind that October is “Positive Attitude Month,” an occasion that I discuss in a recently posted article that readers can access with this link:

Positive Attitude Month: Being positive makes a difference

Once again, the Verse of the Day was most stimulating in a number of ways.

August: “What will be your legacy month?”

August 3, 2013
 The Torchbearers by Charles Umlauf depicts the teacher passing the torch of knowledge to the student.

The Torchbearers by Charles Umlauf depicts the teacher passing the torch of knowledge to the student.

August is “What will be your legacy?” month., holiday website, offers this definition and elaborates upon the month-long celebration with this comment:

“A legacy is what someone or something is remembered for or what they have left behind that is remembered, revered or has influenced current events and the present day. . . What Will Your Legacy Be Month is a month for people to reflect on their past and present actions and vow to make positive changes that will affect generations. We have to remember the seeds, whether positive or negative, that we plant in our children’s lives. This observance is about making the right choices so our children and their children will make the right choices. Everything we do will grow and reflect our teachings. So teach your children well.”

This holiday website offers tips on how to create a legacy as well as information on how to celebrate the holiday, along with other valuable material. ”

Victoria Lynn Dunn, Director, Leadership Initiatives for Women of Color at The Ohio State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion, provides another perspective and describes in poetry:

The Life That Becomes a Legacy

The life that becomes a legacy

is never merely measured in days

never simply seen through the haze of unmet expectations

and dreams deferred.


The life that becomes a legacy

is never merely one that teaches

but is one that reaches toward the mark

pressing whether or not it makes it—today.


The life that becomes a legacy

keeps kindly in view tomorrow

and mediates its sorrows

with joys unspeakable

and sometimes spoken.


The life that becomes a legacy

becomes that legacy

despite a history of many things




But never destroyed

for even broken things and broken wings can fly

Contrary to the black bard Dunbar,

for there Is one far greater than he

and HE wrote your story before ever any bird was caged

HE set the stage of the play that would become the great drama of life.


And HE never sees anything too broken not to care

too broken for repair and, in fact, delights in repairing broken things

broken dreams

and making them new.

Benjamin Disraeli made the statement, “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” We are perhaps familiar with the statement, “The greatest gift you can give someone is a good example.” Similar sentiments are also expressed in Proverbs 22:1:

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.

Paul exhorts Timothy, as a father to his son, to be an example of the believers in what Timothy says, in what he does, in the way he lives, in faith and purity.

The example that we leave for others to follow is part of our legacy, which should be of concern to everyone, not just during August but every day of our lives. The video below is a reminder to Christian believers of the importance of the legacies that they leave: “Find Us Faithful.”