articulate - adjective
1. having parts connected by joints, as in "articulated"
2. made up of distinct words joined together in such a way as to convey meaning
3. able to express oneself clearly and distinctly
4. well formulated, clearly presented

Monday, November 10, 2008


Here I sit at 4 a.m., contemplating oxygen.

And in the dark stillness of the night, I have discovered an appalling fact regarding myself.

It’s true. No matter how vociferously I deny it, the fact remains.

I am addicted to oxygen!

I suspect I am not alone. And, like others, I don’t have any desire to overcome this particular addiction. What I’d like to overcome is the asthma which keeps me from drawing enough oxygen into my lungs. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem possible at this present time, so here I sit in the middle of the night, sipping a cup of herbal tea and pondering the process of breathing which most humans take for granted.

Breathing is supposed to be one of those involuntary reflexes people don’t need to consciously guide. Even those of us with asthma don’t think about every breath we take, just the ones we struggle for. If everything is working right, our lungs automatically expel a mixture of carbon dioxide and other gases, then expand to take in life-giving oxygen. This oxygen then travels throughout our bodies, giving life and healing to every cell of every organ. Without the oxygen, cells start to die, thinking becomes fuzzy, organs slow down and cease to function.

Did you ever wonder how this wonderful system of air circulation originated?

Evolutionists would have us believe that humans started as slimy creatures which crawled out of the mud which came from somewhere, developed lungs out of something, and automatically started gasping the air which had spontaneously originated from somewhere.

Far easier to believe is the Genesis account of creation:

Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground
And breathed the breath of life into his nostrils,
And the man became a living being.
~Genesis 2:7 (CSB)

Man’s original breath came directly from the Creator God! That thought amazes me. God breathed life-giving air into Adam, then Adam breathed, and every living being from then until now has had lungs which automatically expand to pull in the precious breath of life.

The prophet Daniel, in his rebuke to King Belshazzar, refers to

“…the God who holds your life-breath in His hand
And who controls the whole course of your life.”
~Daniel 5:23

God holds my life-breath in His hand. What a comforting thought.

But the “breath of life” does not merely exist in the physical realm. Spiritually, people are dead in their trespasses and sins until they accept God’s free gift of salvation and become alive in Christ (Romans 6:11). At that point, the Holy Spirit begins to breathe life into their spirit until they are “strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man… so that [they] may be filled with the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19). God, who saw in His newly-created man the need for physical life, also saw in us the need for spiritual life and invented spiritual CPR!

God’s Holy Spirit can breathe spiritual life into me in such a way that I will become a new person, alive to God and dead to sin. Amazing.

The English rector and Oxford scholar Edwin Hatch must have also been intrigued by the idea, for he penned the words to the beloved old hymn, Breathe on Me, Breath of God.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with Thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Blend all my soul with Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.

"Breathe on me."

Breath is such an intimate thing, isn’t it? You have to really love someone in order to not mind feeling their breath on you. But I still can’t imagine asking someone to breathe on me.

Unless it is God Himself, the originator of life, the One who has redeemed my soul and given me new life in Christ, the One who can make me a new person, alive in Christ and dead to sin. His breath of spiritual life is something I need to be addicted to.

Breathe on me, Breath of Life.


Friday, October 31, 2008


At the top of this page I defined articulate not only as being able to express oneself clearly, but also as having joints. And although I have been accused of being a random thinker, the joints between my thoughts are completely clear... to me, at least! The challenge lies in articulation, joining them in such a way that they are clear to others, also.

"Articulated" is a word that has always fascinated me. For one thing, it just sounds cool. To prove my point, try this: say "articulated" aloud.

Now do it again, only louder.

Come on, lose those inhibitions and shout it!

See? People are looking at you. It just sounds cool. (We won't go into the real reasons people stare at you.) And we just proved that if you can say words that sound cool, you get more
attention. Well, maybe that's not exactly what we proved with our little experiment, but it is true. Each baby, mouthing the sounds "da da" and "ma ma," immediately learns that making the right noises gains positive feedback. A few years later, about the time they reach Kindergarten, children try the same process with words they've heard on the bus and quickly learn that making the wrong noises gains extremely negative feedback! So they choose to say good words, cool words, words that sound like they mean something new or important.

But not only does the word "articulated" sound great when you say it (provided you're not saying it loudly enough to annoy your coworkers), it is also applied to many
interesting objects. A quick Google image search of the word shows photos of an articulated bus, an articulated crane, articulated trucks and tractors, and even an articulated retractable mount in case you want to attach your TV to your wall. I'm not sure why you would want your TV attached to your wall, except that it would make it harder to steal. Unless a thief broke into your house and took out the entire wall with his articulated crane, that is. But there have gotta be easier ways of stealing TVs.

So where has all this articulation led us?

Not to stealing TVs. We are not advocating thievery here. Nor are we advertizing for a certain type of bus, crane, truck, tractor, or other machine. We did make a subtle plug for Google searches, but that was mere prudence, since you just can't plug yahoo on a Google-sponsored site. Besides, I like Google better. I do. Really.

The point, I believe, is that articulation is not just a cool word or type of machine, but it is also an important concept, a tool to be used for achieving a specific purpose. Articulation takes two or more separate items and joins them together to accomplish something bigger than could have been completed by either object alone. Whether you are joining parts of a crane together or stringing words in a chain to carry meaningful thought, articulation gets the job done.

In my own life I see examples of the benefits of articulation every day. When my schedule is joined to or coordinated with that of my spouse, we end up with fewer conflicts. When I clearly join words together to convey meaning to my children, we understand each other better and achieve more. And most important of all, when I keep my own will firmly joined to the Heavenly Father's through a living relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, my life becomes much more profitable as I grow and learn and function as He would have me do.

Articulation. It’s not just a cool sounding word for interesting machines, it’s also a vital tool for accomplishing things in my everyday life.