You Don’t Have a Point

I’ve been involved in a rather silly Facebook “debate” this evening. I enjoy a good battle of words and since this woman didn’t have enough since to keep her misguided opinion to herself rather than try to defame a perfect stranger, I went to bat. The guy was a total stranger to me too, and the debate about how his dogs were kept really has no bearing whatsoever on this blog.

No. Actually, she had really weak arguments to begin with, and I, along with many others, had many strong arguments for the way the original poster was keeping his dogs. But none of the debate is at all relevant here. The only reason the debate brings me to the computer to type this is her language.

According to Oxforddictionaries.com there are 171,476 words in the English language.* And yet, with all those words to choose from to make a point stronger, this lady (I use the term loosely) continued to express herself with curse words. Now, don’t take me wrong. My language is not perfect. I do not make a habit of swearing, but, sadly, the tongue is a beast that is difficult to tame and I have been known to let a swear word slip. I do, however, try to be very careful not to do this. And I most certainly do not use vulgarity as a way to strengthen my arguments — especially in a written debate, where time can be taken to think of more appropriate words.

Unfortunately, this use of four letter words has become the norm in American language, both written and verbal. I see it all the time. People can be carrying on a perfectly calm, otherwise normal conversation, and yet they pepper in these words, seemingly in place of punctuation. In written form, particularly blogs, swear words seems to be the accepted method of making a point more valid. I have heard, and read, some people’s language and wondered if they would have 5 words to say in a row if they didn’t swear.

But the truth is, this method is so very flawed. In reality, if you have to swear to “make a point” then you don’t have a point to begin with. If you have to use curse words, and go on loud tirades, then all you are proving is that your grasp for the English language is, in fact, very limited. You may have wonderful, fact based points, aside from your language, but to use these words only detracts from your credibility. It doesn’t make your voice stronger. It makes it more immature and annoying. And while this is very true in spoken communication, it is even more true in written form. If you have 171,476 words to choose from, and time to pause and think, why would you opt to use the language of a 8th grade boy who thinks he is tough because he talks bad? This makes no sense. It’s a sad reflection of a culture that does not value education, or even the appearance of being educated. And it shows a great lack of self respect.

I realize we all slip on occasion and let a “dirty word” out; even if a dirty word for you is “drat.” We all do it. And we all seem to have more or less words that fall into the swear word category. Growing up gosh, crap, and butt were off limits in our house. As an adult, I use the word crap on occasion. This is just a tiny example of how “swearing” differs for people. But it is also common knowledge that some words are Swear words, and have no other place. To use f*** or f***ing as a type of bold print, if you will, in written, or verbal form, is unnecessary. There are so many other words to choose from — 171,475, to be exact. To use s*** or b**** as off hand comments is ridiculous. All this shows is that you do not have the capacity to come up with more appropriate wording.

So, while the lady I debated with tonight, had no leg to stand on in the first place, this entire blog was simply my attempt to bring a little civility back into day to day conversation. This woman would not have won me over with her points anyway, but she did herself no favors by cluttering the debate with cursing. Like I said before, if you have to cuss to prove your point, you don’t have a point to begin with.

 

*The Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use, and 47,156 obsolete words. To this may be added around 9,500 derivative words included as subentries.

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Not the Preacher’s Job

I’ve been thinking lately. Mostly my mind just wonders here and there. Yesterday it wondered toward seeing children saved and baptized. Always such an awesome experience! But then I thought of the times I have heard Sunday School teachers, or parents say their children had to talk to the preacher. I’ve heard mothers tell their kids this for months; saying the child has to approach the preacher herself, supposedly, to show they are really “ready to be saved.” I have a few objections to this approach.

These are personal objects and maybe some pastors won’t agree; but here they are anyway. First, I believe once a child reaches a point where they know they are not good, no matter how narrow that understanding; they have already reached the “age of accountability.” In other words, if your 6 year old asks about being baptized because they “don’t want to die in hell.” Then that child already understands the beginnings of salvation. He may not fully grasp all aspects of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, but he knows enough that God will hold him accountable. I know it sounds absolutely horrifying to think of a 6 year old going to hell; but I do believe knowing he needs Christ, and not actually accepting Him, would merit separation from the Father in Heaven. Again, maybe a stronger Bible scholar would argue with that; however, that is MY understanding.

Which brings me to my second objection with asking kids to go to their pastor to accept Christ. If, once a child begins to see the need for Jesus in her life, she is accountable for her sins; then is time not important in that situation? Let’s suppose your 9 year old is asking questions about asking Jesus into her heart. Now let’s say that you don’t feel “qualified” to answer those questions so you tell her to wait and ask the preacher on Sunday. Sunday comes and the pastor has to rush after church for another obligation. You try again to speak on Wednesday but your child is shy and doesn’t want to interrupt the preacher chatting. This goes on for a couple of weeks before you are in a car wreck…… What if your child were to die not having professed Jesus as her savior? What if that were the case, and you had simply ignored her questions because “that’s the preacher’s job?”

That last statement brings me to my final objection to making children wait to talk to a pastor. If you can not even explain Salvation through Faith in Christ to your own child, to whom CAN you explain it?! If we are to be leading others to Christ, shouldn’t we know what that means?  If you can’t tell your very own child that when they do bad things, like lie or disobey you, that it makes God sad. If you can’t continue by telling them God knew we would do bad things, so He gave something even more special than toys or money just for us. That God loved us so much that He let His Son be killed; and then His Son, Jesus, didn’t stay dead. He rose again so that We can still know Him. We can pray and tell Jesus “thank You for dying so I don’t have to. Please forgive me for doing bad things; I want to do things that make You happy.” …. If we can’t find SOME words to explain it to a child, how can we ever explain it to a coworker, a stranger, a friend, or anyone else?

Jesus said “let the children come to Me.” He didn’t say let them talk to the preacher and let him decide if they are ready to come. He said “let them come.”

A place for Everything

Here is some food for thought on this Monday morning!

Ladies, there is a place for everything. And everything should be in it’s place. This goes for your boobs too. I’m so sick of being flashed in public — even at church of all places! Put ’em away. Please.

Before you start thinking I’m just jealous of other women’s figures. I’m not. I’m only 26. After nursing 2 babies, the girls are still pretty perky. My husband says they look great. But that’s for him to say. And not for you to see. No, I’m not jealous at all. Disgusted maybe? Okay, that’s a pretty strong word. Offended for sure. I don’t care if you are young, or old; married, dating, or single. Quit sharing them.

Here’s the deal. We all know you have boobs. We don’t have to see them for proof. When you try on clothes, or get dressed in the morning; do us the favor of looking in the mirror. I’m not saying wear turtle necks every day, forever. (I HATE turtle necks!) Just make sure at LEAST 3/4 of those puppies are left for the imagination!

This is a good rule of thumb, for married women. When you buy something new, before taking the tags off, model for your husband. You know “that look.” If that comes across his face, the top is just too low. If you can’t read his face, then ask if he would be okay with you wearing the garment to go hang out with him and his all male group of friends. If he says “no,” see if you can add a layer under it, other wise return it and try again.

For single ladies, think what your dad, brother, or maybe grandad might say about what you have on. If you think they would question it, or be uncomfortable talking to you while you have it on, then the rest of us don’t need to see so much either.

Both of the rules above apply to garments that may be too tight, too short, or too anything else, as well. Modesty, can be so much more attractive than dressing like a clown.

I know most of this sounded pretty harsh, and perhaps embarrassing. I rather intended for it to come across that way. It’s so important that we respect ourselves enough to dress well. I’m not talking about being fashion forward, and on trend; I am NONE of those things. I’m talking about honoring ourselves, and our husbands (or future husbands)  by saving our bodies just for them.