Saturday, September 10, 2016

Subject Debunked: Bad Words

Hey, remember those "Subject Debunked" posts that I did almost exactly a year ago? They're back!
This one is on bad words.
You've heard them. On the streets. In movies. Maybe even out of your own mouth. They're frowned upon in respectable company. Bad words. You may have made up some substitutes of your own, like, "shoot," "dang," or, "gosh." I've struggled with this for a while, maybe you have too. Is it okay for me, as a Christian, to say these bad words? Everyone else is saying them. I work at a fast food joint. For me, "everyone" means my coworkers. Even my brothers and sisters in Christ let it slip sometimes, when they become frustrated or angry.
But is it okay?
At first I was adamant. NO! Why would anyone say those awful things? I hung on to Spencer W. Kimball's quote, "Profanity is the effort of a feeble brain to express itself forcibly." I didn't want to be a feeble brain! But as time wore on, I questioned myself. Those words did come in handy when I was mad. Should I re-evaluate them? I remained in this state for a while, hoping nobody would ask me for my opinion. I certainly wasn't going to say those words, I was in the Christian bubble! I went to church, I was involved in the youth group, all of my friends were Christians like me. If I said anything remotely close ("Oh my gosh!" "It happened, I swear.") My family would frown. No. I wouldn't say those words, but I wasn't sure what to think of people who did. Were they committing wrong when they said them?
I finally made a decision. I wouldn't say them. I had begun to grimace at their taste, anyway. And there were certain words that should never be used by anyone. Taking the name of the Lord in vain, obviously. I added the F-bomb to that pile as well. God created intimate relations as sanctified and holy. In dropping the F-bomb, we are taking what he made holy and grossly disrespecting it. The other bad words were just nasty things to say to me. Others could use them. Just not me.

Although this was a decision of mine, it wasn't the final one. This was.
When Jesus was giving the sermon on the mount, He said,

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[c] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[d] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[e] of fire. (Matthew 5:21-22)
 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15)
Let's look at the point: anger at someone equals murder. It's not a word yet, but it's a sinful feeling. 
Now, words only have as much power as you give them. I can say, "octopus" all day and not have it mean anything. I'm not telling you there's an octopus in the room, I just like saying octopus. 
But remember what I said about bad words? They come in handy when you're mad. If you say these words in anger, you give them the power of anger. The power to hurt and destroy. This is not what we Christians are here for! Ephesians 4:25 gives this advice,
 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
There we go. So, no matter what you say, a word that rhymes with witch, or a fartknocker. It doesn't matter if it's a good word or a bad word: do not say it in anger! Our purpose as Christians is to build up, not to tear down.

So, you may ask, is it okay to say these bad words as long as I'm not angry when I say them? 
I would say you're pushing it. You just really want to say them, don't you? I guess you could, but this leads me to something else. 
Why do you want to say them so badly? If you want the approval of your coworkers or friends, I need to make it clear that we're not here on earth for the sake of pleasing our peers! As Christians, the one person we should be seeking approval from is Jesus our Lord!! Would you say those words in front of Jesus in hope of His approval? No way!
While we may be looking for the approval of one, we have a huge audience. It's your family. Your friends. Your coworkers. Everyone who sees you. What do they see? Do they see just another average joe, who doesn't really differentiate from the guys they were getting drunk with last night? Or do they see someone who is filled with love, kindness, peace, joy, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control? They may not know why you are like this. You're always happy. Why?
Brothers and sisters, don't taint the world's view of you. As it says in 1 Peter 2:9,
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Let's live up to these impressive titles, guys.

Elsie Mason
 Ps. For further reading (links):
The Trouble with Cussing Christians 
Spencer W. Kimball's Quote
Top 7 Bible Verses About the Power of Words

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Subject Debunked: Being Alone

We all know two kids: the one who is the life of the party. Whenever there's a social event, you see him/her there. And then the other kid is the opposite. You see him in the background. He's the social outcast.

We're talking about both of them today.

We love being together. The time we feel safest is when we're in a cluster of loved ones. Some people think that they're better off without fellow humans to slow them down, but in the end, they really do have at least one trusted confidant to hang on to.
This leads me to point one: we were designed to be together.

Then why are people pushing away from each other? Why do we isolate persons who are just like us, but we ignore them anyway? Why this separation?

Point two: Sin came into the world. God's perfect plan has been mutilated.
Why aren't we concerned about this? Because we sin, and admit it, we LOVE sinning. It's fun, it satisfies our malicious desires, and besides, everybody does it.

But here's the party pooper: one day you are going to have to stand before the judgement throne of God, ALONE, and give an account of every single way you broke His law. He cannot tolerate people breaking His law. The reward for breaking it is eternal wrath. It's not just a spanking. This God creates volcanoes, swirls hurricanes, and spins tornadoes, all with his pinky finger. Can you imagine getting pounded with His fist forever?

Point three: This God loved us so much that He sent a substitute! His only son Jesus came down to us, living the perfect life that we never could, and taking the world's sins on Himself, He endured the full wrath of His father in three hours. Guys, we couldn't even pay off our sin if we had a thousand eternities to do it! And now if we love God back, we have Jesus on our side, who will stand alongside us before that throne and say, "Dad, this one I paid for, let him/her in."

If you have Jesus as your friend, you are never alone.

Elsie Mason

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Subject Debunked: Freedom in Christ

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires."
~ Romans 13:14

Okay, let's get down to business: have you ever seen people who claim to be Christians, but you find little difference between them and the unregenerate neighbor next door? People who claim they love the Lord, but wear plunging necklines, butt skirts, and don't have the most admirable vocabulary.

But of course, we can't tell them what to do; or if we do, they say that it's okay because they have freedom in Christ.
What exactly is this slippery phrase?

Some people will tell you that it means since all things are lawful (1 Cor 10:23)it's ok, or that it's "great that you have your own opinion, but it's yours, not mine" (Rom 14:22).

This is my definition:
"But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,  and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness."
~Romans 6:17-18

What I draw from this is that we were slaves to sin, but when Christ died for us, He set us free to live for Him.
I don't think freedom in Christ means that since He died for all your sins, you can sin all you want because He is paying the bill.
That's not cool! Assuming you call yourself a Christian, you love Christ. If you love Christ, why do you sin all the more? He died for those! Every time you sin, He paid the price by willingly crawling up on that cross, beaten to a pulp and stripped naked, hanging there by nails pounded through His hands, and having to push Himself up to breathe by His feet (they are pierced through as well) until He runs out of energy and suffocates in the most excruciating pain imaginable.

Do you know why He suffered all that? Because He loves you. Are we to continue making our Lover suffer so we can feel temporary pleasure? He keeps calling to us, inviting us to find His love, which is FAR more powerful and longer lasting (Spoiler alert: it's actually infinite!!). Why don't you accept? 
Is there something holding you back? 
There doesn't have to be.
His love is worth fighting for.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

"What, You Don't Have a Valentine?"

Nobody has ever said this to me, but as I get older the message becomes more apparent: "you should have a sweetheart on Valentine's day, if you don't, you are a sad single pringle."

Do you ever feel lonely on Valentine's day? Sometimes it's hard when you see your friends texting their boyfriends or girlfriends cute poems, or some people just can't take a hint that PDA (Public Display of Affection) is not welcomed in certain areas. You want to nibble on the heart shaped chocolates you bought yourself while you invite Me, Myself, and I to your pity party (while scrolling through the social media, which doesn't help).

Here's some advice: stop hurting yourself. You can keep the munchies, but crash the pity party, shut off your phone, and open the Bible. Do you know what the Bible is? It is God's own love letter toward us. Not just in the new testament, either. Genesis, Isaiah, Song of Solomon, even Exodus shows that God wants us to come to Him for love and acceptance. Even though God created the opposite genders for each other, the union between a man and a woman represents Christ's union with His church. They are that close.

Having a significant other is wonderful, but it's temporary. God has loved you before anyone else, He loves you more than anyone else, and He will love you longer than anyone else.

After that, don't you feel a little silly for crying about "no one sending you a valentine?" Now that you think about it, that was rather disrespectful to God, ignoring His beautiful, chocolate-filled, glistening valentine when it was most likely in your very room.

Go ahead.

Open it.

Elsie Mason

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Update on Conference

Write2Ignite! is amazing!
We  finally got to the hotel and unpacked our stuff, then checked in at NGU, the university that it was held at. First off the announcements was the flash contest. I know that sounds totally wrong, but it's not. It is a writing and illustrating competition. You could only do one or the other. The flash part means you had to submit it the next day. 500 words or less. I chose writing, and wrote a little story I like to call: Do Not Take the Cat to the Vet. I'll post it later. I didn't win. Oh well. But it will still be posted on the Write2Ignite! blog, so go to http://write2ignite.com to see it!

 The next morning E, C (my friend), and I had breakfast with my FAVORITE author, Jenny Cote!! I usually tend to think of authors and artists as people who are so busy they only half listen to a conversation while looking at their watch every five minutes. Not at all with Ms. Cote! She really listens to you, and she's friendly!

 We attended the L.A.U.N.C.H. party (Learning And Understanding Nefarious Canned Ham)
The name train was kind of embarrassing. the next activity was writing a back story on how our SPAM became evil, after which decorating it.

Not only Mrs. Cote, but Torry Martin was also one of the speakers. You know, the guy they based Wooton Bassett off of in Adventures in Odyssey.
He is hilarious! He also gave some really good writing tips.
Another speaker was Tony Snipes, an artist. All possibilities were soon revealed to us as he spoke.
All in all it was incredible!

Elsie Mason

ps. I took a picture of a punch buggy with eyelashes! not kidding! here it is: