Personal communication is perhaps one of the areas most greatly affected by technology over the last 10 years. Emails, facebook, twitter, texts, instagrams, and skype have all but replaced traditional phone calls, letter writing, and sadly, too often, face to face communication. As with all cultural changes, tradition tries hard to hold on, and there are some rough spots as one way of doing things is replaced by another.
We are in that limbo time in determining the appropriateness of sending condolences, congratulations, announcements and such. Many still believe that handwritten messages supersede any electronic format, but sadly too many of us really don't know how to write a simple personal note, especially if we need to say something significant. Liz Duckworth has tackled that problem with her new book A Perfect Word for Every Occasion. She covers writing words of grieving (always a hard one for me), words of gratitude, words for the sick and suffering, words for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other celebrations, and more. Each chapter gives starting points for writing your own thoughts, then also suggests some famous quotations and Bible verses. She rounds out chapters identifying some wrong turns we can make which she calls Aunt Me-Me's mistakes.
I like Duckworth's opinion that we should be attempting to convey "grace-filled" words. And I do cherish hand written notes. I've gotten a few from co-workers and students over the years. Our daughter and her husband-to-be wrote us a letter from an engagement retreat they attended, and I still tear up reading it after 10 years. And those precious notes from the grandchildren surpass everything, except perhaps the love letters I got from my husband as we dated. Sadly, I fear too many people never receive such correspondence or send it. Like Duckworth, I am not sure a twenty word message on an electronic wall will ever replace the effort and meaning behind a hand written note, but I believe it is becoming fully accepted.
As a former English teacher, I am saddened knowing people are uncomfortable writing and sending their thoughts, but I fully understand the struggles we can all have in deciding what is the right thing to say, especially to someone who is grieving or struggling. A Perfect Word for Every Occasion is a good resource and will help writers focus their thoughts. I received a copy from Bethany House for review purposes. Opinions are my own.
Mark Twain once intoned that "the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." Bible teachers and preachers also know the importance and power of words. Indeed it is our stock-in-trade. But for some it is easier to turn a phrase in a sermon than it is to produce a timely word in a more personal setting. For those who struggle to find the perfect word on such occasions, Liz Duckworth has provided some help. Her brief, easy-to-read book A Perfect Word for Every Occasion supplies practical suggestions for finding just the right word for most commonly occurring occasions. The occasions addressed in this work include grief, gratitude, sickness, suffering, birthdays, weddings, engagements, encouragements related to personal setbacks, celebrations, events, activities, words of truth and love (i.e., apologies, confrontations, etc.), and even a section devoted to using the right words in cyberspace. Each section typically includes guidelines for finding the right words, prompts to help you begin, words to make your own, a guide of what not to say, and quotes worth sharing. In general the author does a good job helping one find "apples of silver" (Prov 25:11). Not all the suggestions here are original, but even the familiar expressions seem to be appropriately chosen. At the end of the day, one has to own their own words for them to be authentic, but the author has given tangible assistance to those who are looking for the perfect word, or at least a better word, for those day-to-day opportunities to minister through one's words.
A free review copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers.
A fun helper to have int hand when writing cards and letters :)
My birthday was just a little while ago and I found this book very helpful in writing Thank You cards. There were many great suggestions and great thoughts, I liked how I was able to sort of mix and match phrases and sentiments into the perfect little note.
I also really liked the suggestions for Bible verses for a multitude of different occassions from graduations to births. One of the chapter that I found to be intriguing, though I haven't tried it out and hope I don't have to anytime soon, is the section on how to write a sympathy card, which I have always found the most challenging of all things to write, and I thought it had many helpful ideas and suggestions.
Overall, a helpful guide that was really handy as I was writing Thank You cards this last birthday. :)
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
As someone who knows how they feel, but has a hard time expressing those feeling in words written or spoken, I found A Perfect Word For Every Occasion to be a very helpful and practical guide to finding the right words. Many of us, I know, have been in a situation when we just didn't know what to say. Mrs. Duckworth breaks her book down into chapters dealing with many different situations you may find yourself in and helps us to find the right words to say in each. Also valuable, are her sections in each chapter that lists things NOT to say. Overall a very helpful and useful guide. A guide that will have a permanent space on my bookshelf.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publisher in return for my opinion of the book. All opinions are my own.
We are in a new millennium in which our technology has improved immensely, writing letters or giving cards has rapidly been replaced by electronic mail and texting. I have always been a firm believer in sending out snail mail, and giving hand written cards- there is a more personal feeling to it. i love the simplicity of giving a card and expressing my feelings, and just letting the ink in my pen flow smoothly on paper. Just think of how beautiful it feels when someone hands you a card on your Birthday. In this day in age, computers seem to be replacing it - It's just so much easier, right?
I know that sometimes it's hard to say the right words or we just do not know what to say. That is why Liz Duckworth wrote this book. In her book, she offers ways and examples on how or what to say. Every chapter has quotes and verses to help find new ways to say the right words. She also has a section for what not to say.
This book has 10 chapters that offer different examples. The fallowing chapters are:
1. Words for the Grieiving2. Words of Gratitude
3. Words for the Sick and Suffering
4. Words for Birthdays
5. Words for Weddings and Engagements
6. Words of Encouragement
7. Words for Celebrations
8. Words for Events and Activities
9. Words of Truth and Love
10. Words for a Changing World
My favorite section was the quotes and scriptures.
Gratitude is the memory of the heart. -Jean Baptistery Massieu
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. - William Arthur Ward
I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks. -William Shakespeare
How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice
God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9: 7
Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier. - Anonymous
I will say of The Lord, "He is my refuge and fortress, my God, in whom I trust." - Psalm 91:1-2
Do not let your hearts be troubled. - John 14:1
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers. - Galatians 6:9-10
Carry each other's burned, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. - Galatians 6:2
Words of comfort, skillfully administered, are the oldest therapy known to man. - Louis Nizer
Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. - Helen Keller
Storms make tress take deeper roots. - Claude McDonald, The Christian Word
It is the wounded oyster that mends its shell with pearl. - Ralph Waldom Emerson
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. - 2 Corinthians 13:11
These are some of the very positive and encouraging words that you will find in this book. This is one of those books that you will want to keep for future reference.
We live in a world in which we all have such busy schedules; that it self, makes it difficult to focus on others, right? But we must remember it's important to encourage one another when difficult times arise. We need to be a little more aware of other's feelings; after all there will be a time when WE will need a word of encouragement and motivation.
** I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.