Expletives and Superlatives


There’s a Texas expression that I’ve never uttered before in my life, nor have I ever used it in one of my books, nor did I ever expect to ever use it: He’s talking out of his butthole.

Because I write clean-reading Christian books, I disdain profanity. Nothing will make me abandon a book more quickly than excessive profanity. Writers should be creative. Instead of repeating the “F” word endlessly, what’s wrong with: profanity dropped from his lips like cigarette ash; he used words that would have shocked his mother; his foul language was so excessive that it fatigued his listeners; her anger made her abandon her last shred of Christian training as she launched into a tirade against her coworker, the air splintered from the impact of cursing…etc.

Few things anger me. This did. An “academic” professor attacked the root of the Christmas story. He said Mary had been raped because she never consented to her pregnancy. This highly esteemed professor has a platform for attempting to destroy the foundational faith of students entrusted to him and is too lazy to research and get it right.

God gives us freedom of choice. Not everyone is a Christian. There are many other religions in the world. Everyone, even an atheist, has the right to choose what he or she believes. But it’s shameful and unforgivable that an “academic professor” who supposedly is better educated and more brilliant than the average gets away with spewing unfounded derisive words as truth.

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” I don’t draw the salary that the university pays that lazy professor, but that sounds like consent to me. (Luke 1:38)

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior…For He who is mighty has done great things for me.” Luke 1:49.

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be called the Son of the Highest…and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:31

The truth, the simple truth behind Christmas, the greatest love story ever written.

I’m trying. I’m really trying. But that professor’s words grate against my spirit and I can’t word it any better than my Texas friends: “he’s speaking out of his butthole.”



Word Rocks

The world caught its breath in horror recently when Farzana Parveen, 25, of Pakistan, was stoned to death by family members outside a courthouse because she married the man she loved instead of the man her family had selected for her.

Truthfully, a lot of us use word rocks to murder every day.

Consider parents who tell a child, “You’re a brat!” “I’m so sick and tired of you!” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “You’re stupid!” Word rocks that kill. Most incarcerated individuals, including serial killers, were battered by word rocks as children.

Consider a spouse who tells the other, “I hate you!” “I wish I had never married you!” “How did I get stuck with you?” Word rocks. Most marriages that end in divorce started tearing apart from the weight of word rocks that were never forgiven, never forgotten.

School children are guilty of murdering with word rocks at school. Most of them learned the battering techniques they use at school from being battered themselves at home. “You’re ugly!” “I don’t want to be your friend.” “You’re weird.” Word rocks that scar for life and sometimes murder victims by pushing them toward suicide, drug use, or crime.

No wonder the Bible has so many verses commanding us to use words as tools, not weapons. Proverbs 18:21 declares that “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.” Jesus warned that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. “By your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37. He added, “Not that what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a person.”

While most word rocks are cruel and unkind, not all word rocks are deadly. Jesus hates profanity. As our example, He explained, “The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63). Our words should reflect Jesus’ Holy Spirit and direct listeners toward joy, abundance, and eternal life.

The Bible advises, “Put perverse lips far from you.” It reminds us that, “The mouth of the righteous is a well of life.” It proclaims, “He who restrains his lips is wise.”

Convicted by reading Moody Bible books – The Sugar Creek Gang – as a teen, I quit using profanity, even though my parents were atheists and swore profusely. I wasn’t a Christian and couldn’t even define the term, but I knew there was something different and admirable about the characters in those books. Now that I write Christian mystery-romance-suspense, I challenge myself to write believable characters in exciting settings full of adventure and romance – without using profanity or glorifying risky lifestyle choices like smoking, drugs, alcohol and promiscuous sex. I don’t lob word rocks. They kill.

None of us can undo the tragic death of Farzana Parveen and her child. We can’t bring them back to life. But all of us can protect the ones we love in our life by remembering not to sling word rocks.

God intends us to use words to plant trees of life, not to kill and destroy.