Have a Point: Steve Martin and John Candy Help Us See Ourselves

The late actor John Candy has given us some of the most endearing talkative characters in comedy. Candy had a wonderful way of rendering his subjects as so annoying tha we know we'd probably avoid them if we met them in real life. Yet Candy could gradually reveal a humble, heart-of-gold side of the men … Continue reading Have a Point: Steve Martin and John Candy Help Us See Ourselves

Loose Lips…a Warning When Words Flow Freely

Loose lips sink ships. Loose lips might sink ships, a phrase that originated during World War II, is an American English idiom meaning "beware of unguarded talk." The phrase was created by the War Advertising Council and was used on propaganda posters by the United States Office of War Information.  It would be wise to … Continue reading Loose Lips…a Warning When Words Flow Freely

C.S. Lewis on Avoiding Cruel, Dishonest Talkers

One way to avoid sinning with our speech is to practice prudence about the company we keep. Some incisive advice from C.S. Lewis in Reflections on the Psalms: I am inclined to think a Christian would be wise to avoid, where he decently can, any meeting with people who are bullies, lascivious, cruel, dishonest, spiteful … Continue reading C.S. Lewis on Avoiding Cruel, Dishonest Talkers

Rutherfraud: How Political Mudslinging Diminishes Dignity

In the Kingdom of Ice is a masterful work of nonfiction detailing the tragic voyage of Captain George Washington DeLong and thirty-two adventurous men who attempted to reach the North Pole on the USS Jeannette in 1879.  Written by the spellbinding Hampton Sides, its beauty and sorrow make for a powerful historical read. In the … Continue reading Rutherfraud: How Political Mudslinging Diminishes Dignity

A Fellow Babbling Brook Learns to Tame Her Tongue

Taming the tongue is daunting, a seemingly impossible task for those of us who are naturally wordy.  Several years ago I found hope in Paula Huston's book, The Holy Way: Practices for a Simple Life.  Huston, a creative nonfiction teacher, National Endowment of the Arts Fellow and author of nine books, is obviously gifted with … Continue reading A Fellow Babbling Brook Learns to Tame Her Tongue

Backbiting: A “Common, Vulgar Evil”

"There is practically no society or gathering in which people do not denigrate others who are absent, discharging their critical zeal upon them.  Backbiting is a common, vulgar evil, and a horrible, deadly one." Sins of the Tongue, the source of this quote, is a little book written by a French priest in 1877.  In … Continue reading Backbiting: A “Common, Vulgar Evil”

Matt Redman: Let My Words Be Few

When Jesus Christ was transfigured before Peter, James and John, they saw the glorious divinity of the God-Man. Peter (so lovably like us!) stammered a suggestion:  "Lord, it's good that we are here.  Let's build three tabernacles!  One for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah!" Then a "bright cloud" overcame them and they … Continue reading Matt Redman: Let My Words Be Few

Speech without a Partner: Josef Pieper on Flattery

"What then, is flattery?...The decisive element is this:  having an ulterior motive.  I address the other not simply to please him or to tell him something that is true.  Rather, what I say to him is designed to get something from him!...His dignity is ignored...in order to manipulate him for my purposes. Basically, what happens … Continue reading Speech without a Partner: Josef Pieper on Flattery