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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Accent (02/21/13)

TITLE: God Speaks My Language
By Lynn Moses


My husband is Egyptian. My in-laws were born in Egypt and spent half of their lives living there. They moved to the US in their early 40’s and while my mother-in-law learned English very well, it was much harder for my father-in-law. Throughout their lives in the US they continued to have difficulty enunciating words in the English language.

Many years back we had a wonderful Australian Shepherd dog named Quigglie. My mother-in-law fell in love with her and thought she was just wonderful which surprised me because in Egypt animals are considered property more than members of the family. Whenever my mother-in-law would try to say Quigglie’s name it came out “Galiggigally.” She would try over and over again after we said “Quigglie” very slowly and carefully, but it always came out “Galiggigally.”

Early on in my marriage, I used to panic a little if my husband left me alone with my in-laws, especially my father-in-law in case one of them said something I couldn’t understand. Here are a few examples.

“Leen, do you have any tomsums?” one of them would ask me.

Ten minutes and a lot of discussion would go by before I figured out they wanted some Tums for an upset stomach.

Every year on my birthday, they would sing “habby birsday” (happy birthday), to me.

Sometimes we understood the words they said, but when they used them incorrectly it could cause some serious miscommunication and it wasn't funny-until we figured out what they really meant.

For years I would take offense every time one of them would say “too” anything. It just sounded so critical.

“Galiggigally is too big.” “That’s too much.” “She’s too tall.”

Come to find out, years later, “too” to them just meant very or a lot. Oops!

“Galiggigally it very big.” “That’s a lot.” “She’s very tall.” Much different.

Those of us who married into the family eventually learned what they were trying to say and communication was much easier. All in all, we were left with some great stories about misinterpreted words and phrases and the laughter and learning that resulted.

Talking to people who speak a different language has been an on-going problem throughout history. The Bible even talks about it what happened when people spoke differently than their neighbors. Fortunately, we've come a long way since Jephthah captured the tribe of Ephraim.

Jephthah captured the shallows of the Jordan, and whenever a fugitive from Ephraim tried to go back across, the men of Gilead would challenge him. “Are you a member of the tribe of Ephraim?” they would ask. If the man said, “No, I’m not,” they would tell him to say “Shibboleth.” If he was from Ephraim, he would say “Sibboleth,” because people from Ephraim cannot pronounce the word correctly. –Judges 12:5-6 (NLT)

With God, we don’t have to worry about those kinds of misunderstandings. God speaks to us through His word in the Bible. Our job is to read, study, memorize and spend time with Him and when we do this His message is exceedingly clear.

A common mistake for some of us Christians is to take the easy way out and shirk our responsibilities. We rely on our own understanding rather than on God’s Word and Truth. The result is that we don’t understand the message and we can easily be deceived, much like I was when I heard my in-laws say “too much”.

Our own deception can lead us to think we are “hearing a message from God” when in reality, we are hearing what we want to hear, and we miss the truth. God speaks our language when we listen and obey.

The same is true of our communication with people. If we aren't living godly lives, it will show in our communication with others. In essence we would be speaking with our own diacritic that could lead others astray.

Hearing people from other cultures speak with a different type of pronunciation can be fun, but it’s even better when we take the time to understand what someone (especially God) is really saying.

Authors note: For fun, visit the following website to see if you have an “American accent” in any of the several regions of the United States. Apparently I have a North Central accent. I am not sure if that is accurate, but it was kind of fun. http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_american_accent_do_you_have

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 304 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/28/13
I loved this! The entire piece was charming and so well written...and I loved the quiz too! I was considered Inland North? It was fun.

I loved the message in your entry. God speaks the same language to all of His children, and we hear His voice no matter what.

God bless~
Richard Hicks03/01/13
This is a easy to read, and I actually learned something new. That is a A+ in my book. Thanks for sharing this devotion.
Linda Berg 03/01/13
I love your writing here. I related with the mis-understandings because of the language barrier as I live in a foreign culture and language.

Bringing that application to the importance of living in the truth of God's word and not in assumptions, was well applied.

Thanks. Looking forward to more of your work.
Judith Gayle Smith03/03/13
Delightful! I thoroughly enjoyed this captivating entry!

Loving you in through and because of Jesus, the Christ . . .

Have you "thrown a brick"?
Catherine Craig 03/06/13
My father was off-the-boat in 1953. His accent was thick, but normal to me. It was hard for him; I understand that now, and when I read fun pieces like this one. Your title was well-chosen. Thank you and God Bless.
Mildred Sheldon03/06/13
I truly enjoyed this. This was very well written. Thank you and God bless.
Phyllis Inniss03/07/13
Thanks for sharing this interesting piece about your in-laws. I like the way you used the story to share a devotion. God does speak our language if we will only listen to His voice and readily obey Him.
Judith Gayle Smith03/07/13
Thank you for glorifying God with your true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy winning entry! God bless you.

Love and verbal hugs, Judi

KJV Revelation 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/07/13
Congratulations for placing third in your level and 33 overall! The highest top 35 overall rankings can be found on the message board. http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=36654
lynn gipson 03/07/13
Congratulations on your win! Very well done.
Linda Berg 03/07/13
Congratulations on your win, Lynn.
C D Swanson 03/08/13
Congrats! God bless~