How to Solve a Difficult Celebrity Cipher

Let’s Solve One Together So You Can See How to Do It!

“How to Solve a Celebrity Cipher” showed how to solve this popular newspaper puzzle when it has:
♦   A one-letter word, which will be either “A” or “I”
♦   A contraction
♦   A four-letter word starting and ending with the same letter, which will likely be THAT
♦   A four-letter word with the same second and fourth letters, which will usually be HERE or WERE
♦   A four-letter word with the same first and third letters and the same second and fourth letters, which would usually be MAMA, PAPA or GAGA

If you find one or more of those clues in a Celebrity Cipher, it’s usually pretty easy to solve.

So what do you do with a Celebrity Cipher that has none of those!   Such as this one [©2019 by NEA, Inc., dist. by Andrews McMeel Syndication 7-12].

“GIXTDO YGCKMD KCAMFGTDO NCSFG PCTDO,

DMXMS OTXM RE,

IDP FSV DCF FC BMF IDVCDM PCND.”

—GISSV SMIKCDMS

Make a copy for yourself and

Follow along in the steps below to solve it with me

  1.  Always start with “TODAY’S CLUE”—R=U.  This clue is usually crucial to solving the Celebrity Cipher and will often enable you to guess the word.  It’s easy to see that RE will be either “UP” or “US.”  There is no other E in the cipher and I refrain from guessing unless I have to.
  2. But now what do you do?  If the first word were followed by a comma, you could figure it’s an adverb ending in “LY.”  But we don’t have that!  So, again, what can we do next?  Appropriately, this cipher is looking a little difficult!
  3. Look for a three-letter word following a comma.  A three-letter word will often be “THE” or “AND,” and a three-letter word following a comma will likely be “AND.”  Let’s try IDP=”AND” and see it the three letters seem to fit in structure and content with the rest of the cipher.  No red flags so let’s go on!
  4. Three words end in TDO with the D=N.  We have to be a little daring if we’re going to solve this cipher, and a good guess would be TDO=”ING.”
  5. Seems to be working!  Because PCTDO is “D_ING” and would be “DOING.”
  6. PCND is “DO_N” and would be “DOWN.”
  7. DCF FC is “NO_ _O,” and seeing which one letter of the alphabet makes best sense to complete the two words, it’s obvious the two words are “NOT TO.”
  8. IDVCDM is “AN_ON_” and would be “ANYONE.”
  9. BMF is “_ET” and in context would be “LET.”
  10. FSU is “T_Y” and in context would be “TRY.”
  11. KCAMFGTDO NCDSFG is “_O_ETHING WORT_.”  The second word is obviously “WORTH,” and the first word obviously would be “SOMETHING.”
  12. DMXMS OTXM is “NE_ER GI_E”and would be “NEVER GIVE.”
  13. Going back to RE, we didn’t have to guess, in context it must be “UP.”
  14. GISSV is “_ARRY” and must be “Larry” or “Harry.”  The first word of the cipher also leads with a G so the two words must be “HAVING” and “HARRY.”  Besides, the celebrity’s last name has already filled in completely as “REASONER” and most of us have heard of HARRY REASONER.
  15. The final word YGCKMD in context must be “CHOSEN.”

CONGRATULATIONS!  We’ve solved this difficult Celebrity Cipher as a good reasoner without harry guessing!   Hope this inspires you to have fun solving other Celebrity Ciphers.  I’ve only come across one that I couldn’t crack!

“Having chosen something worth doing,
never give up,
and try not to let anyone down.”—Harry Reasoner

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New Understanding About God & the Word

Here is an exciting piece of new understanding

about God and the Word and how they lived up until the time they formulated their plan for reproducing themselves.  Note that I said new understanding.  Not new truth because it has been plainly written in the Bible all this time.  Nobody else … nothing else … was around to provide fake news!

John 1John 1:1 reveals the truth that God and the Word were two God Beings without a beginning.   “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  God and the Word just always were.  Both uncreated.  Both self-existing.

Note that there is not a word here about God being in authority over the Word.  But when I was taught the foundational exciting truths of the Bible 49 years ago, I was taught that God was in authority over the Word so that there would be “government of God” in a hierarchy.

Recently I heard a sermon stating that God and the Word had to be equal or the Word’s willingness to be slain as the Lamb of God would have been meaningless.  What’s the big deal if the Word were expected to submit and become the human!

My mind resisted because of what I’d always been taught by teachers I respected.  But I continued to ask God to show me His truth and I thoroughly studied the question with an open mind to be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11).

“Equal with God”

Thank God, He showed me when I looked up an obvious scripture on the subject:  Php. 2:5-6.  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God …”  The NLT puts it “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to …”

God’s Word is truth (John 17:17)!  And there it was, saying what it always has said:  “equal with God.”  I had always read it as “equal with God who was in authority over Him.”

In John 5:18, the Jews understood that Jesus’ statements were “making Himself equal with God.”

So the truth is that God and the Word were equal when they formed their exciting plan of salvation to reproduce themselves with potentially billions of God Beings to expand their Family and Kingdom.

This new understanding opens up exciting concepts!

Free moral agency is a cornerstone of God’s plan

It started with God and the Word having free choice just like we humans would be given.   Jesus said He laid down His life for us by His own volition—“I sacrifice it voluntarily (John 10:18)—not because God being greater would have compelled Him to do it even if God hadn’t actually pulled rank and forced Him to.

Jesus’ words in His real Lord’s Prayer of John 17 have even more depth of meaning:  “glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (v. 5).  God and the Word so loved each other that they were of “one accord, of one mind” (Php. 2:3), in lowliness of mind each esteeming the other as better than himself, looking out for the interest of the other (vs. 3-4).

God and the Word can teach us about true humility because they
model it. They do not think of themselves more highly than they
ought (Rom. 12:3). Imagine that because they are the highest!

At some point, however long it took them, God and the Word formed their plan of salvation to the minutest exquisite detail including what role and tasks each of them would handle.

They formed a new relationship for the rest of eternity!

A family relationship where God would become the Father, the Word His Son, and Jesus willingly chose to become a bondservant to the Father (v. 7),  happy to have the Father greater than He, for the joy of bringing many sons and daughters to glory (Heb. 2:10).

They pledged individually that each would do His part to make the plan surely succeed (Isa. 46:9-10).  So while Jesus would be facing the pulls of human nature tempted by the wily satan in all points like as we are (Heb. 4:15), where just one sin would ruin the plan and result in eternal death for Jesus and us humans, it was certain He would succeed because He and the Father were totally committed to it!

God and the Word were both love, joy and all the other seven fruits of the Holy Spirit.  They were always full of wisdom and unchanging character.  But they were

yellow pencilsNever yellow pencils

They were two Beings with unique personality!  God was happy to rule the universe from the third heaven, manning the throne, overseeing the whole plan.  Seemingly more of an adventurer, the Word was happy to roar about the universe in His gyroscope portable throne, come wrestle with human nature, thoughts and fears, take on the Pharisees and satan,  die an excruciating death and actually be nonexistent for three days and three nights, because He knew the Father would restore Him to glory and together they would complete the plan!

Building the Family of God adFor divesting Himself of His divine privileges to be the captain of our salvation, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Php. 2:9-11).  Surely the Bible features Jesus more throughout its pages.

What a plan!

What a God!!

Both of them!   May we fully appreciate their awesome plan even more than ever.  And be motivated to more faithfully choose by our own gift of free moral agency, in each daily decision, to yield ourselves to their Family and Kingdom!

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The Only Way to True Freedom

Betrayed by those he trusted, William Wallace has one final moment to recant in front of his cheering enemies.  But the hero of the 1995 Oscar-winning movie “Braveheart” musters up all of his remaining strength and instead cries out “FREEDOM!” before his head is chopped off as his wife welcomes him in vision.

fireworksToday America celebrates its birthday and salutes its freedom and liberty.  Too bad for all of you from other countries?

No, because the only way to true freedom is through God and living His way of life.  If you are reading this blog, God is calling you and you can be one of the “few who find it” (Matt. 7:14).

David rejoices that God frees us from all our fears (Psa. 34:4).  You don’t need psychological fluff because “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18) and God wants to give you this agape love.

James tells us to look into the “perfect law of liberty” and continue in it (James 1:25).  The only thing done away will be those who do not love God’s Bible and law and regularly study it and live it!  Are we working with God to have His law written in our hearts and minds! (Jer. 31:33).

God led Israel out of slavery, with the symbolism being led out of slavery to Pharaoh (satan) and Egypt (sin).

Paul said to each of us who read it and apply it to ourselves:  “Do you not know that to whom you

Book of Life AdPresent yourselves

slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16).  And leading to freedom!  True liberty!

Patrick Henry cried “Give me liberty or give me death!”  Actually, spiritually that’s our two choices with eternal consequences.  Let’s choose liberty!

Today, to which are you presenting yourself? (Deut. 30:19-20).

map 100 countries Isa. 5511

If We Want to Pray an Effective Prayer, Shouldn’t We Let God Tell Us How to Start One!

Gimme is not the right way to start an effective prayer!

Pray an Effective Prayer Pin

The Lord’s Prayer always says “Give us” and “forgive us.”  That’s because love is an unselfish outgoing concern.   The second greatest commandment, that sums up the last six Commandments, is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39, Lev. 19:18).  Paul taught “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Php. 2:4).  So we must think “us” not “me.”  We should pray for the needs of others before we ask for ours, and God knows our needs before we ask anyway (Matt. 6:8).

When one of the disciples asked Jesus,

“Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1)

praying manJesus told them to pray “in this manner” (Matt. 6:9), not mouthing specific words every time.  He didn’t want to hear “vain repetitions” (v. 7).  He calls us friends (John 15:15) and you wouldn’t talk to your friends that way.  But God is our Father and THE POWER OF THE UNIVERSE.  It would be better to not stammer and “like, you know” and ramble when we can take advantage of how Jesus says we should organize and structure our prayer to make it most effective.

Sure, if you’re hanging upside down in the proverbial well, just cry “help!”  But for most prayers, here’s how Jesus said to start:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matt. 6:9)

We need to remind ourselves of who the Great Being is that we are praying to.  He is not just my Father.  Our Father.  The Father of all humans who live and who have lived.  All will have their opportunity at the right time to become our sisters and brothers in the Family of God.  This gives us the perspective to love even our enemies! (Matt. 5:44).

Our Father is in heaven.  Nothing is above Him.  We’re down here, on his footstool (Isa. 66:1).  All “nations are as a drop in a bucket … dust on the scales” (40:15).   Such humbling descriptions should prep us, even as He calls us His children (1 John 3:2), His special people (1 Pet. 2:9), His jewels (Mal. 3:17), the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8)!  How humbling is that—that He would give the likes of us such accolades!

So we should start our prayer by hallowing and praising His name!  Not because the Father craves to hear it.  It’s for us.  We need to remind ourselves of the powerful loving Father we are privileged to talk to, who allows us to do that 24/7—anytime we choose.

We need to “see” ourselves in relation to our Father the way Job came to do (Job 42:5), hopefully without having to go through the terrible trial he did.

Being “clothed with humility” (1 Pet. 5:5) is a key part of the “fine linen” (Rev. 19:8) the bride of Christ should wear in prayer, and most of us prefer to dress ourselves.  So we should humble ourselves so God won’t have to!

Prayer eBook adLook how Jehoshaphat wisely started his cry for help when Judah was under attack:  “O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?  Are you not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? … For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chron. 20:6, 12).

Try as we should, we cannot give God the glory due His name.  But for effective prayers, we should start our prayers by hallowing the Father’s name.

Why not start right now!

map 100 countries Isa. 5511

 

 

 

Upstaged by Giraffes & Woodpeckers!

I just returned from our 10th Colorado Preteen Camp.  It started off like family not only because of the 105 staff and campers, but the first day three moose graced the camp with their presence!  Last year one moose prompted us all to dash to the windows for a passing glance as he hurried on.   The previous years I hadn’t been treated to a sighting.

But this year two moose pranced around nearby the field games so that all had a chance for a great full-body view.  One fearless moose munched on vegetation just below the balcony of the lodge, oblivious to all the onlookers crowding the ledge for a privileged gaze at such a powerful, magnificent creature.  I didn’t have a cell phone to take a picture with but, hey, how could they compete with the one of Broose the Moose above anyway!

But then Randy Hooser goes and shares at a campfire talk about

How giraffes are wondrously made

giraffe drinkingToo bad for this tallest mammal that its neck—despite being as long as it is—won’t reach the ground!  The idea that all this creation needs is a long-neck bottle is just not on the up and up!   OK, if you dare to read on, expect some pun-ishment!

Maybe it’s a good thing for a giraffe that it only needs to drink water every couple of days, since it gets most of its water from eating plants.

Because the way it has to bend down in a rather ungainly manner, which Randy did his best to imitate, gives glory to our amazing Creator.   That is, the way a giraffe does it, not the way Randy did it!

The giraffe’s build requires an enormous heart two-feet long and weighing up to 25 pounds.  By comparison, a human heart is fist-sized and weighs about 3 pounds.  When a giraffe bends to drink, all the blood rushing down to its head could be fatal—same for when it raised the head back up, resulting in disequilibrium.

But God has created the giraffe with a highly specialized cardiovascular system.  Its jugular veins contain a series of one-way valves that regulate the flow of blood when it bends down and rises back up.

This heart and valves had to be in place and working perfectly the very first time the first giraffe knelt to drink.  Think on that and give God glory next time you kneel!

Why woodpeckers don’t get headaches!

woodpeckerHow could they not when they hammer at a tree up to 20 times per second.  If they had a bird-friendly Fitbot, it’d register 8,000 to 12,000 pecks a day!

But our Creator designed them better than any Craftsman or Black & Decker.

They wouldn’t survive if they weren’t literally hard-headed.  Woodpeckers have reinforced skull muscles structured to disperse the impact.  Their brains are highly cushioned.

Their tongue is a marvelous specialized tool.  Up to four inches long and three times the length of the bill—it wraps around the back of the brain when retracted.   Too bad we humans don’t have something like that for holding our tongues!

The tongues of many woodpecker species are barbed to better snag the bugs in the tree.  When the tongue is zipping out, a glue substance is secreted—and then when it’s retracting, a solvent is applied!  Yet they never need a trip over to top off fluids at the hardware store!

Remember, that drilling is at 20 times per second, and God has created the woodpecker to somehow close and open its eyes upon each drill to protect them from shrapnel.  If only we would open our eyes to how marvelous our Creator is!

Building the Family of God adDavid knew he was

“Fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psa. 139:14)

Now you should know that so are giraffes and woodpeckers.  Like every other creation, they are uniquely equipped to survive.   They could not have evolved because all of the features had to be there and work perfectly the very first time.

Symbiotic creatures had to be hanging out together from the get-go or neither would have survived.

No intermediate species have ever been found, which Charles Darwin admitted would be the downfall of his theory.

This Broose the Moose enjoyed being uplifted by family and upstaged by other amazing creations!

Our God is an awesome Creator and all glory goes to Him!  We try but we cannot give Him the glory due His name!

map 100 countries Isa. 5511

Time to Camp!

In the “Peanuts” cartoon strip, the kids go straight from school to camp.  In the Bible, after the spies except for Joshua and Caleb gave fearful, discouraging reports about the Promised Land, the Israelites were punished with wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.   I love camping but that would have been hard to take!

Sunday through Wednesday I’ll be serving at a Colorado Preteen Camp near gorgeous Estes Park.  Then Wednesday night through Sunday I’m off to our annual Church campout along the Poudre River west of Ft. Collins, which will be roaring more than usual from all the massive spring runoff.

No computer or Internet the whole time!   As I roast a plump weiner over the campfire, I’ll be a weaner from the Net!

Building the Family of God adWhile I’m gone, here are ads for all of the FREE eBooks.  The one I recommend most is “Building the Family of God.”  I spent over a year writing this, and it is not only a condensed analysis of the entire Bible and plan of God and how you fit in it, but it’s what God has taught me in 49 years through His servants and living His way.  There is nothing else I can write that will be as valuable.

To really get the benefit of all these pearls, you need to study them in your own Bible, not just speed-read through them.   We should always ask God to guide us with His Holy Spirit as we do Bible study.

“It is the same with my word.  I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it” (Isa. 55:11 New Living Translation).

Now it’s between Him and you!

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Give God Something to Bless

The miracle where Jesus fed the 5,000 is the only miracle covered by all four Gospels.   Jesus knew the crowd was going to have a hard time finding food at the day’s end.

Jesus asked His disciple Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” (John 6:5 New Living Translation).   Philip knew there was no 24-hour Walmart in sight!   Philip could only exclaim in exasperation:  “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” (v. 7).

It’s interesting that John 6 says Jesus already knew what He was going to do to solve the problem.   We should keep that in mind regarding OUR problems.  That’s why we should be praying “Thy will be done, not mine” and casting our cares upon Him.

Later in the chapter He would teach them that He is the Bread of Life (v. 35).   “Don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food.  Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you” (v. 27).

The disciples scrounged up a lad who had

Five loaves and two fish

5 loavesIt makes me wonder:  was this lad the only one in the whole crowd who had some food?  Not even his Mom and Dad?  The rest of the crowd all went out for the day with nothing to eat?  If the fish were like this picture, who could eat it that way anyway!   Did Jesus multiply it so it was filleted, headless, pan-fried in butter and lemon!

What the lad had to offer surely seemed like famine to himself and the disciples when looking out over the crowd.  But the lad offered up what he had to Jesus and the rest is history of what Jesus was able to bless it into!

It’s interesting that Jesus could have just miraculously rustled up enough grub for the whole gang—probably about 15,000 counting women and children.   It could have started raining manna or quail!  But He chose to use the lad as supplier and His disciples as waiters.   And thank God He does His worldwide Work through frail humans—through us!  Jesus said through the Holy Spirit we can do greater works than He did (John 14:12).

“And they all ate as much as they wanted” (John 6:11).  God is always generous!

“After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted” (v. 12).  Waste not, want not!

Who got the leftovers?

John doesn’t say, but God’s way would be for the 12 baskets to go to the lad who donated, if he could carry them away.

Leading Us to Our Glorious Destiny ad“Give, and you will receive.  Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.  The amount you give will determine the amount you get back” (Luke 6:38).

A former pastor told me something I’ve always cherished about the lesson of this miracle:  Give God something to bless.

Haven’t got any loaves or fish?  How about a smile for a stranger who’s beseeching God for some encouragement in his overwhelming situation.  How about picking up somebody else’s litter so others can enjoy that part of God’s marvelous creation?  How about …

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