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The Huge 2-part Role of a Tiny Biblical Word

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There’s a reason the adage ‘good things come in small packages’ got coined.  It’s true!  The tiny three-letter conjunction, ‘but’, in the Scriptures is a powerful example. Who knew that it has two profoundly different applications?   One looks back while the other looks forward.  How we use it determines much about how we view our world.  Examples from both Genesis and the Psalms are used to illustrate the point.

This vlog also provides a vivid historical example of how a medieval community was protected about a virus that terrorized much of Europe and got results–a reminder for our media today.



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David Boone
David Boone
March 6, 2020 6:02 am

So clear regarding “but.” No looping back but staying forward — the insight on various forms of what might be called obstacles is valuable. I often remind myself not to loop back to fear “but” – and now with a clearer concept of but, go ahead with certainty. Referring to the term Fear in the Glossary, it has come to me that she is explaining fear as a process belief beginning with the word heat and ending with caution. The looping then is from some circumstance to a foreboding or caution with intervening steps between. There is much to consider… Read more »

Kristin Marples
Kristin Marples
March 6, 2020 7:46 am

Thanks so much for your latest blog; I learn something from each one. When I taught Sunday School (for many years), the children loved referring to Genesis 2:6 as “the biggest but(t) in the Bible!)

Jan True
Jan True
March 6, 2020 9:33 am

Wonderful! I love how you made the clear distinction between the two uses of the word “but”. Never really thought about that before. And what a huge, as you say, difference it makes. And for me, will lead to more healing insights. Blessings to you.

March 6, 2020 10:58 am
Robbie Sweetser
Robbie Sweetser
March 6, 2020 11:37 am

Genesis 2:6 “but” does as you say setting up a contrast. I tend to read that as “but common, mortal, limited thinking” raised up a mist. Genesis 1 allegory is written later than the older Genesis 2 myth. So I read that “but” as a contrast to notify the reader to pay attention to which story has precedence. Great discussion of such a little word!

Gail McBride
March 7, 2020 4:41 pm

Thank you so much for this enlightening explanation regarding the biblical use of the word “but”. My husband and I heard your talk in Fresno a few months ago when you mentioned the use of the word “but” in the laments. I actually have used the format of a “lament” in praying for myself when seeking healing. And the word “but” in Genesis reminded me to view your vlog. What a new view for me regarding Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. Thank you again for your wonderful work and shared insights. You are awesome,

Juliet Swannell
Juliet Swannell
March 16, 2020 3:24 am

Hi Madelon and thank you so much for your March vlog. I loved your example of the backward “cancelling” use of the word “but” in the workplace. It has alerted me to beware of using it in such a sense when speaking with and thinking about others. It’s perhaps like saying that God is great, b u t not always. On the other hand, as you explained so well, the forward “clarifying” sense used in many of the Psalms offers so much hope of turning a seemingly bad situation around. I was so interested to hear about the people in… Read more »

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