Use wisely the power of words
My mother used pet phrases to teach me as I grew up. She often said things like "Never put anything in your ear sharper than your elbow." I did not listen to that one, and now I need hearing aids.
Then there was "Children should be seen and not heard." My father liked that saying and he enforced it with gusto. Dad even had his own version of this saying. It was "Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth closed."
How about "You can't put old heads on young shoulders"? I argued with Mom about those words many times. Particularly during my young years.
"Keep your door open" was one that mother constantly used. As I grew older, I saw the wisdom of this saying over and over. People can do nasty, even evil things behind closed doors, with closed minds and in closed groups. Open doors allow you to be observed. They welcome others to come in to your space. Exposure is your friend. Privacy often leads to the opportunity to practice what you would not do in the open. We need transparency with each other.
"You can't be 30 years old until you have lived 30 years." Another version was "You can't have 10 years' experience until you have worked 10 years." I remember hearing that repeatedly as I lived through the beginning of my career. Two others were "Early to bed and early to rise will make you wealthy and wise" and "Hay is for horses." The latter would be my mother's response when I addressed her with the word "hey."
As I grew older, Mom's words would often rumble around my insides. They were good words, selected and arranged for my good. Easy to repeat and to remember. Scripture tells us that we are to tie our parents' words around our fingers and to write them on our hearts. We are to guard those words as they guard us. Our parents speak important words.
Words are what life is all about. We express ourselves in words. Our words define us and tell others about us. Words inspire us. They can give us peace or turmoil. Blessings and curses are strings of words. Victory and defeat are accomplished by words.
Scripture tells us that God spoke all creation into existence, that Jesus is the living word, the vehicle by which all the world and all within exists.
Wise children make their parents glad. My parents have been gone for many years, but I know the way I live, the words I speak and write, would make them glad. Joy is the emotion of union.
Murray Hohns is an associate pastor with New Hope Christian Fellowship.
Check your knowledge of religious history
Author Bob Sigall described island churches and other religious landmarks in a quiz last Saturday
in the "On Faith" column. Here are the answers to his questions.
1. Makiki Christian Church, 829 Pensacola St., is modeled on a Japanese castle.
2. Our Lady of Peace Cathedral, 1184 Bishop St., has been in use continuously since 1842.
3. Kawaiaha'o Church, 957 Punchbowl St., is described as the Westminster Abbey of the Pacific.
4. Church of the Crossroads, 1212 University Ave., was organized as an interracial congregation in 1923.
5. Kaumakapili Church, 766 N. King St., was rebuilt at its Palama location in 1900.
6. St. Andrew's Cathedral, Queen Emma Square, was named by Queen Emma.
7. Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St., began as a waterfront seamen's chapel.
8. Honpa Hongwanji Betsuin, 1727 Pali Highway, has its roots in an 1898 Fort Street temple.
9. Saint Francis Medical Center, 2230 Liliha St., was opened by the Sisters of St. Francis.
10. Star of the Sea Painted Church was moved to Pahoa, south of Hilo, on the Big Island.
11. McKinley High School had its beginnings in 1865 in the basement of the Fort Street Church.
12. Mokuaikawa Church in Kailua-Kona was built by New England missionaries in 1825, the first Christian church built in Hawaii.
13. Our Lady of the Mount Church, 1614 Monte St., was established by Portuguese immigrants.
14. St. Ann Church, 46-129 Haiku Road, was founded by Hawaiian Catholics who fled from Honolulu during a 10-year period of persecution by the kingdom of Hawaii that ended in 1839.
15. First Chinese Church of Christ, 1054 S. King St., is predominantly a congregation of people of Chinese ancestry, as were its founders.
16. La Pietra-Hawaii School for Girls, 2933 Poni Moi Road, was started at Central Union Church 42 years ago.