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A “word crafter” is a person who puts words together for a maximum benefit to the reader or the listener.

The desire is to put a subject in the best light possible, while being honest and truthful at the same time. If you read a certain author, it is probably because you like the way the author is able to describe a scene and bring to life characters in your mind that seem real to you.

If you listen to a certain speaker it is because you like the way the person can “turn a phrase” and make you see what he is trying to say.

With all of that being said, what do cough syrup and buttermilk have in common?

Even though they are two items, we are looking at four different words. Syrup is a good word that brings to mind pancakes or waffles. Who doesn’t like nice hot pancakes smothered in maple syrup?

Nobody likes the word “cough,” whether you are the one with the affliction or the one who has to listen to it. As bad as a cough is, cough syrup is the worst liquid I have ever tasted, ever. If we can land a man on the moon, have cellphones, and cable television, you would think somebody could make a cough syrup that didn’t taste like something out of a radiator from a 1949 Buick that has been sitting out in a field for the past 40 years.

Are you with me so far?

Consider the word, “buttermilk.” I like butter…I like it on rolls, toast, grits, corn, cornbread, potatoes (mashed or baked), just to name a few things. Butter goes well with just about anything. I also love milk…whole, half, fat free, chocolate, and even strawberry. I can drink milk whether it is real hot or real cold, just not room temperature.

However, if you put these two fine, outstanding words together you get something that smells as bad as it tastes. To be fair to buttermilk, many people enjoy the taste and drink it on a regular basis. When I was a kid, my dad drank buttermilk all the time. He kept a quart of buttermilk in the refrigerator and would drink it in front of me.

My dad may not have been a word crafter, but he was a drink crafter because he made that buttermilk look so good and desirable to drink. I must admit, I tried his buttermilk from time to time, hoping that it would taste better than the time before. It never did.

Looking back on it, maybe my dad had found the perfect drink to always have on hand because nobody else in the house would drink it. I have tried that same philosophy with my kids, but no matter how bad something tastes that I bring home, they acquire a taste for it and drink it.

Regardless of what you call something, the name and the product should match up. In the Christian faith, we have a bunch of words that describe us. These words help in describing ourselves to others, and in reminding ourselves of what Christ expects from his followers. Matthew 5:13-16 tells us, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its salty taste, it cannot be made salty again. It is good for nothing, except to be thrown out and walked on. You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don’t hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.”

It should be the intention of every Christian to make a positive impact in the home, town, city, state, nation, and world in which they live. Make sure that you are doing everything you should do to be the person Christ expects you to be. Rest assured, people are watching and listening to see if our words match up to their meanings.

Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it.

Vince Hefner is pastor of First Baptist Church in Cherryville.

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