Any youth that has traveled with me (or spent any time with me) knows I have a few rules. Well, actually there are probably A LOT of rules, but let’s stick with the 5 phrases that I won’t let them say.  These are phrases that are not curse words, but when spoken are not very kind.  They are slang and overused and I just don’t want to hear them!  Feel free to ask any of the youth and they can fill you in on any of those 5 phrases!

The one phase that I don’t want to hear is…Oh My God!! Using the Lord’s name in vain is probably the biggest cringe worthy comment to me!  After all, it is one of the Ten Commandments or rules that were handed down to Moses by God.

Exodus 20

Then God spoke all these words:

 I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.You must have no other gods before[a] me.

 Do not make an idol for yourself—no form whatsoever—of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.

 Do not use the Lord your God’s name as if it were of no significance;

Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy.

 Honor your father and your mother so that your life will be long on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you.

 Do not kill.[c]

 Do not commit adultery.

Do not steal.

 Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.

Do not desire your neighbor’s house. Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.


As we travel along, I love to hear the older ones “educate” the younger ones. Usually they will repeat the phrase and change it to “oh my goodness”.   This correction happens quite often at the beginning of the trip and slows down as everyone realizes how to change their ways.

I wonder if these Rules were handed down while the Israelites were wandering in the desert because God had their full attention.   They were all learning together and there to support each other.  When we surround ourselves with positive people and people that are supportive we are able to make a difference much faster.

Look at your friends this week. Are they helping you be the best you can be?  Are they changing your habits for the better or the worse?  Take some time to think about who you want to be and who God wants you to be.  Where do your friends fit into that desire?


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