Published 11:06 am Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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I grew up in a home where my parents read. They both read the newspaper at breakfast. They both enjoyed reading books, too. Each had their own interests, but they would often read if we were on vacation. Dad read when he went to bed. Mom also read in bed, but you could catch her reading during the day, too.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

My parents tried to get me interested in reading, but I had other interests. When I was a junior in high school, they gave me a book that they both had enjoyed, hoping I would read it. Begrudgingly, I complied.

To my surprise, I not only read it, but I enjoyed it, too. When the author came to town to promote his newest book, I got the chance to meet and talk with him. Thus began my love for books, and it fed my deeper desire to write.

This story came up at my Dad’s birthday gathering recently. My brother always comes up with some interesting activity for us to do at my Dad’s birthday. Often it involves telling something about ourselves and our lives. It might be funny or sentimental. It gives everyone a chance to share and we often learn something about each other.

I shared about two writers who influenced me to become a writer. After I shared the stories, my Dad wanted to ask a follow-up question. He wanted to know why I wanted to write so badly when I didn’t like reading as a kid.

He knew the desire to write had been there since childhood. Most people grab a book if they have a long car trip; I always made sure I had a pad of paper and some pencils.

I have really pondered that question since the other night. Why do I want to write?

I told my family that words are powerful and they create great stories. My pastor taught us that words create worlds. A great writer can take you to a place through his or her words.

Think of a great movie you enjoyed. That place and those people were created in someone’s mind. A great book transports us to the location of the author’s choosing.

Our words have the power to change people for good, and sadly, for bad, too. Our words can encourage or discourage people.

Our words can impart hope and plant dreams. Our words can confront wrong thoughts and ideas. I told my family that I always try to use my words to build others up, to help them see their potential.

We all want to hear positive things said about us. When we are struggling, we often turn to our pastors for words of comfort, wisdom and guidance.

Words are like food for the body, they nourish our souls and spirits. Words are used to motivate teams and the military to keep fighting until they win the victory.

Some may say that the Bible is simply a collection of words, but I believe they are words that have been ordered in the heart of God, given to show man the way to live and the way to life. God’s words inspire, strengthen and give us the courage to live a better life.

The Old Testament prophets told us of a coming savior. When the time was right, those words came true and Jesus was born in a manger.

He lived His life fulfilling the prophetic words written about Him. He demonstrated God’s love for us, not only through His words, but through His actions when He died on a cross for us.

We have a responsibility to steward our words very carefully. Sometimes we need to use less of them and practice listening more.

We need to extend words of hope and life to others instead of judgement and condemnation. Our words should empower people to break free from the bondages in their lives so they can discover the freedom that God intended.

When we can paint a picture with our words of what life looks like with Christ, and we can live those words out ourselves, others will be drawn to our words and discover transformed lives because they encountered us.

I want to encourage you to consider your words very carefully, especially as you gather with family and friends for the holidays.

Let your words be filled with hope, grace and mercy. Let your words be uplifting.

When you are with your children and grandchildren, let your words be filled with wisdom and understanding.

Spend this holiday season building each other up and create memories that will inspire and last a lifetime.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or