Powerful Words

Written by the Reverend Woody Brown

My Dear Friends,

“Words. So powerful.
They can crush a heart, or heal it.
They can shame a soul, or liberate it.
They can shatter dreams, or energize them.
They can obstruct connection, or invite it.
They can create defenses, or melt them.
We have to use words wisely.”

Ted S. Geisel understood the importance of words and how we use them. He was born March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and died September 24, 1991, in La Jolla, California. He grew into a well know writer, educator and American icon. However, his career got off to a slow start. While in college, he was caught drinking and expelled from the school journal. He later studied in Europe, but dropped out of school to travel the countries. Returning to the United States, he worked for Life, Vanity Fair and other publications as an illustrator and humorist.

When Ted Geisel wrote his first book, he could not find a publisher interested in printing his work. In fact, his book was rejected 27 times. Finally, Vanguard Press took the chance to publish And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Today over 600 million of his books have been sold. Certainly, we know him better as Theodor Seuss Geisel or simply as Dr. Seuss.

I am reminded of his words:

“It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes, or bags.
Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.”

The Advent season of preparation invites and allows us to think of the importance of Christmas. Since God is with us (Emmanuel), everything has changed.

Because of Christmas, our world and lives are different.
Because of Christmas, we choose words to speak more carefully.
Because of Christmas, we view neighbors as brothers and sisters.
Because of Christmas, we share because God shared (and shares) with us, we share with others.

Christmas does mean a little bit more. Christmas means everything to you and me!

Thank you for joining me and helping me prepare for the Birth of the Babe.

Woody Brown

P.S. Remember, Sunday, December 16 at 4 p.m. is our 8th Annual Christmas Chestnuts concert and on December 23 during the 10:50 a.m. worship service our choir will lead us with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Hodie.


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Woody Brown is the Interim Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. Woody has served the Presbyterian Church for 30 years. He has served in pastoral ministry in urban, sub-urban, and rural areas. His passion in ministry is serving and leading the people of God. Most recently, Woody served as the senior pastor of the Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, Kansas.