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South Williamsport, PA
United States

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Interesting to Amazing What did you say?

I must preface this by saying I am far from perfect, and no better than anyone else. But, try as I might, I’ve “blown my stack” at times when I get overly frustrated with something. For many years now, I afterward apologize. What I want to address is the constant decline of what’s spoken in

I must preface this by saying I am far from perfect, and no better than anyone else. But, try as I might, I’ve “blown my stack” at times when I get overly frustrated with something. For many years now, I afterward apologize. What I want to address is the constant decline of what’s spoken in public and considered “OK.”

When I was in grade school, I vividly recall my sister jamming a bar of Ivory soap into my mouth and clamping my jaws on it because we were fighting about something. She did this just because I told her that living with her was like living in hel_! It probably wasn’t a coincidence that Mom and Dad insisted that I stay with them and do my homework in the milk house while they milked the cows for months after that. To this day I avoid that brand of soap!

In 7th grade, it was “good-bye” to recesses. Now we had a rigidly structured and commanded Phys. Ed. by a large, muscular man, Mr. R. One day we were in lines at both ends of the gym waiting our turn to dribble a layup. All of a sudden Mr. R. bellowed for everyone but one, Dave, to sit on the bleachers. He made Dave sit on the floor. Mr. R. went to his office behind the bleachers and retrieved a large wooden paddle. Mr. R. lectured us about using bad language. Dave said something he should not have when he missed the basket. After the lecture, he told Dave to stand up and bend over. Dave was terrified, no doubt, and I’m pretty sure the rest of us were scared too, I sure was. Just when we thought Dave was going to be smacked into orbit, Mr. R. told Dave to go sit down. He then told us “I won’t paddle Dave today, but if I ever hear another bad word from any of you, Dave and you will both get paddled.” That was a good strategy. No one talked about the incident, much less what the word was because that’s how afraid we were of Mr. R. delivering on this promise. In all my years at the school, I never heard of Mr. R. actually paddling anyone. He definitely “spoke softly and carried a big stick.”

I remember some people getting upset in the early 1970s with the “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” song by Jim Croce. The offensive word was “dam_” in the line “Meanest man in the whole dam_ town.” Would this even be noticed anymore?

Now it seems that one can hear pretty much everything sooner or later, even in “politics,” which used to be civil and follow protocol. Satellite channels allow most anything.

I will close with words from God’s book that I hope will guide and strengthen us. First, three verses from Wise King Solomon’s Book of Proverbs; 15: 1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.” Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 12:18 “Careless words stab like a sword, but the words of wise people bring healing.”

The Apostle Paul; Ephesians 4:29 ”Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

The greatest Teacher and King Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:10-11, that “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” He also warns that “on the Day of Judgment, people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.”

Finally, may you be blessed with these words from King David, Psalm 19:14 “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”

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