Quips and Quotes

  • Sumo

First my own sayings. Then some favorite lines from some of the greats. I know better than to FOLLOW those acts! (That’s ACTS, not CATS. An easy typo to make. I’d follow those cats, I guess, but not as acts, because you don’t want to have to follow a better… oh, fuhget it… Here we go… )

Comfort Zone: Some gratifying, natural, proficient, peaceful, and – most of all – productive place in one’s world that, once others uncover where yours is, you will be hounded to “get out of.”

When governance develops a self-interest, it’s not long till one hears the governed say, “Open the pod bay doors, Hal.”

When you don’t think you can be had, you’re someone who’s fixing to get got.

The only populations who inflict torture on members for “ratting” are prison inmates and schoolchildren.

It’s a good thing scientists gave us the concept of a black hole, because now we have a metaphor for someplace we “throw money down.”

And then there are those cowboys who are “horse poor” and do not even own a horse.

Why is it that when it’s all said and done, it always turns out that it’s not all said and done?

“Don’t sweat the small stuff?” What’s the big deal about that? Show us someone who says, “Don’t sweat the big stuff.”

The feedlot cowboy knows well what the Prodigal Son went through when he slopped the livestock amidst the stench, mud, manure, and scenes of misery, after his season of wealth, wine, women, and wantonness. It’s just that the feedlot cowboy didn’t get in on the wealth, wine, women, and all.

Just who are those people who scribble on dollar bills and what are they trying to tell us?

Steering committee: what to call the hands who rope, throw, and steer-ilize ’em.

There’s a fine line between brushing off a compliment and fishing for another one.

To be spoken of as “spry”… would it mark a proud moment?

Capitalism is good, but capitalism is not your mantra. Free enterprise is your mantra. Free enterprise is what sets people free.

Advocacy is all about getting someone else to do it. We live in the age of advocacy.

A word about collecting crazes: First you eat it all up. Soon enough, you’re all eat up with it.

What is taste, but susceptibility?

Having the truth means more than what the truth is. That’s a truth that only true truth-lovers can trust.

We live in a fee society.

All that retains any newness in the world is that which has its roots in the old. Or, as a preacher I heard once said, “If it’s new it ain’t true; if it’s true it ain’t new.”

“Advice” to celebs: If you don’t fuel the tabs, the tabs don’t fuel you.

Self-righteousness begins where self-scrutiny ends.

Message on a marquee: “In your dreams, you are never eighty…” To which I add, nor 23 1/2.

Any generation’s so-called generational values are nothing more than a watered-down version of their parents’, slowly getting cooked up into a half-baked version of their offspring’s.

Father’s Day: an occasion when a wife buys gifts for her children to give – no, not to her father, but – to her husband. Mother’s Day: an occasion when a husband buys gifts for his children to give to his wife.

You know you’re finally a grown up when you groan when you get up. (Okay, that’s not really mine. That’s Kit’s. [my wife])

To be called “spry.” Does one take it as a compliment?

Have you ever noticed, in those situations when you really need to take a deep breath and let it out, how, after you’ve taken the deep breath and let it out, the thing that was bothering you is still there?

Today’s romance-minded gal must kiss a lot of frogs before she finds her crazy coot.

My youngest daughter has come up with three magical words with which she expresses so much to me:  “No offense, but…”

Studies likely would show that most cans of frozen grapefruit juice concentrate are bought by people who thought they’d picked up orange juice.

I have no truck with Ford.

Having raised kids who held part-time jobs, I can share this from hearing their tales: Fast food restaurants: a soap opera in every box.

Satan was the first marketer.

A nation that became great because its people sought to make it great—that’s something that has probably never happened in the history of the world. We’ll never have an America like our forefathers had until having a great America is a matter of secondary importance to us, and is serendipitous to us, as it was to them. What mattered foremost to them was God.

Service journalism might be service, but it’s not journalism.

Lord, let me not be a sermon illustration.

My hair is learning to speak Japanese. Yes, it’s saying Sayonara.

Carbon credits (KAHR-buhn KRED-its) Noun. plural. Def.: Sancti-money.

If I knew the meaning of (archaic?) words like “durst,” I could pen lines like: “I durst, thou durst, we durst all three.” But, alas, I don’t.

Advancing age indeed brings its share of “good” things: the emergence of your good leg, good eye, and good arm being just some of these.

Learned from my (then) 12-year-old daughter Sabrina, some years ago: “When you drink water, you sometimes might be drinking dinosaur spit.”

Plucked from passing trays:

““When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before.” – Clifton Fadimon

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” – Isaac Asimov

“The more a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” – George Orwell

“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” – Dr. Thomas Sowell

“To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.” – Mark Twain

“Any one of the strange laws we suffer is a compromise between a fad and a vested interest.” – G.K. Chesterton

“One must be willing to be wrong before he/she can become right. Therefore, Bible study will benefit only those who are so dedicated to the pursuit of truth that they are willing to be wrong.” – Francis Beffert

“If there is to be freedom in Jesus, it can be realized by those who refuse to become complacent and are engaged in the continual pursuit of truth. To become truly free of the shackles and chains of the doctrines of men, we must be continually vigilant and engaged in an unending search for truth. We can never allow ourselves to become complacent in our understanding of God’s word, or so steadfast in the teachings of a given church that we fail to listen to other views.” – Francis Beffert

If we hold that truth has no value, then we are free to teach opinion and become nothing more than false teachers. I would also point out that what we believe on doctrine molds our perception of God. How we perceive the character of God dictates our response to Him, or at least the reason for that response. Regardless of one’s personal view of these matters, the quest for true knowledge and understanding is a part of one’s responsibility toward God. Growth lies in the search for truth.” – Francis Beffert

“I am not at all sure that a literate population thinks either more or better than one which is illiterate.” – Albert Jay Nock

“Statistics are the triumph of the quantitative method, and the quantitative method is the victory of sterility and death.” – Hilaire Belloc

“Every major question in history is a religious question. It has more effect in molding life than nationalism or a common language.” – Hilaire Belloc

“The dogma is the drama.” – G.K. Chesterton [To which I (JFM) add here: Every major question in religion is a doctrine question. Or dogma, if you will.]

“The most frustrating thing about the ignorant is how hard they work to remain ignorant.”  – Will Spencer

“Be content to remember that those who can make omelettes properly can do nothing else.” – Hilaire Belloc

“The problem with close-minded people is that their mouth is always open.”  – Anonymous

“There’s no such thing as a foreseeable future.” – David McCullough, on history.

“Journalism is the first draft of history.” – Philip Graham (a former co-owner of the Washington Post)

“Truth carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation: loving confrontation but confrontation nevertheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of truth, there is something wrong.” –  Francis Schaeffer

“If all you have is a hammer, all your problems look like nails.” – an Old Vaquero Saying, as Bob Boze Bell would say.

“Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known.”  – Montaigne

“If you want to do something big in your life, you must remember that shyness is only the mind. If you think shy, you act shy. If you think confident you act confident. Therefore never let shyness conquer your mind.” – computer programming prodigy Arfa Karim Randhawa, at age 10 years. She died at age 16, having become at 9 years “world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional.”  From an article by Todd Bishop, on Geekwire.

Credendo vides. (Latin, translated:) “Believing is seeing.”

“It is by affliction that the heart of man is purified, and that the thoughts are fixed on a better state. Prosperity has power to intoxicate the imagination, to fix the mind upon the present scene, to produce confidence and elation, and to make him who enjoys affluence and honors forget the hand by which they were bestowed. It is seldom that we are otherwise than by affliction awakened to a sense of our imbecility, or taught to know how little all our acquisitions can conduce to safety or quiet, and how justly we may inscribe to the superintendence of a higher power those blessings which in the wantonness of success we considered as the attainments of our policy and courage.” –Samuel Johnson

“People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.” – Malcolm Muggeridge

“Television was not invented to make human beings vacuous, but is an emanation of their vacuity.” – Malcolm Muggeridge

“The most terrible thing about materialism, even more terrible than its proneness to violence, is its boredom, from which sex, alcohol, drugs, all devices for putting out the accusing light of reason and suppressing the unrealizable aspirations of love, offer a prospect of deliverance.” – Malcolm Muggeridge

“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular – but one must take it because it’s right.”  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”   –  George Washington

“Love of truth, which Locke considered essential, is a very different thing from love of some particular doctrine which is proclaimed as the truth.” – Bertrand Russell

“All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third it is accepted as self-evident.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

“A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he cares about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” – John Stuart Mill

“Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear.” – Benedict Spinoza

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” – Samuel Adams

“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”  – Eric Hoffer

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”  – Carl Gustav Jung

“Maybe we can’t judge people, but we can be fruit inspectors.” — Minister Marshall Keeble

Another Keeble remark. I found this one on preacherspen.org, maintained by minister Chris Gallagher: “You know, I like some of these newfangled inventions. The puncture-proof tire is the one I like especially well. If you’re driving along with the ordinary tires, and a nail goes through them — whisssss…. you lose all the air. But, a puncture-proof tire is different, if a nail goes through it, some stuff inside runs around and stops up the hole and the air stays. You know, the heart of a Christian is like this puncture-proof tire. An ordinary heart may be filled with love, but when someone does something to puncture that heart, all the love runs out and hatred and hard feelings take its place. But, a puncture-proof heart is different; it is filled with the spirit of Christ, and someone through his words or actions punctures that heart, immediately the hole is stopped up tight and love stays in. ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.'”

Here’s another Keeble-ism: “”The devil doesn’t want you to be baptized because he knows you’ll burn better dry.”

And one more: “God’s not in the dry cleaning business! It is wet wash only!”

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” – Thomas Mann

“The psychological principle is this: anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.” – Robert Benchley, “How to Get Things Done”

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”  — Patrick Henry

“When the mind’s eye rests on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and comprehends them, and functions intelligently; but when it turns to the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its beliefs shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence… And is there anything more closely connected with wisdom than truth?”  — Plato

“Every yes or no question can be answered with yes, no, or an unsmiling Shetland pony.” —Kurt Vonnegut

“We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.” — Thomas Jefferson

“America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” —James Madison

“The road to Hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King

“It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” — Samuel Adams

“Self expression is becoming the New Entertainment.” – Arianna Huffington

“Zeal without doctrine is like a sword in the hand of a lunatic.” —John Calvin

“They have a zeal for God but not in accordance with knowledge.” —the apostle Paul, in Romans 10:2, in the context of discussing the Israelites

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” —Charles Bukowski

“One of the important things I learned from my parents is that the answers you get depend on the questions you ask. The wording of the question, as well as tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language of the questioner, have a profound effect on the answer.”  – Jim Davis, blogger on dailycaller.com

“They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” – Benjamin Franklin

“We should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birth-place or origin. “But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.” – from a letter by then-former-President Theodore Roosevelt on January 3, 1919, to the president of the American Defense Society.

“You have kids, and then by the time they grow up, they’ve not really been taught anything by their parents. The school system has become their parents, and their peers have influenced and shaped their lives more than the true parents ever had.” – Ti Burtzloff

“Slate… didn’t mind me reviewing books for the NYTimes, the WashPost, BookForum, the SF Chronicle, and other places. I think my strategy is to turn down no assignment!… But remember, as my friend Mike Dolan says, every assignment has three elements: price, deadline, and quality. The assigning editor gets to pick two.”  – Jack Shafer, former media critic at slate.com

“The thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die. What would it matter if I found ‘objective truth’?” – Soren Kierkegaard

“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” — Herbert Spencer

“Although the scribes could say where the Messiah should be born, they remained quite unperturbed in Jerusalem. They did not accompany the Wise Men to seek him. Similarly one may know the whole of Christianity, yet make no movement. What a difference! The three kings had only a rumor to go by. But it moved them to make that long journey. The scribes were much better informed. They sat and studied the Scriptures like so many scholars, but it did not make them move. Who had more truth? The three kings who followed a rumor, or the scribes who remained sitting with all their knowledge? What a vexation it must have been for the kings, that the scribes who gave them the news remained quiet in Jerusalem! We are being mocked, the kings might have thought. For indeed it is serious self-contradiction that the scribes had the knowledge and yet remained still. It is just as serious as if a person knows about Christianity, and his own life expresses the opposite. We are tempted to suppose that he wishes to fool us, unless we admit that he is only fooling himself.” – Soren Kierkegaard

“One of the peculiar sins of the twentieth century which we’ve developed to a very high level is the sin of credulity. It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse: they believe in anything.” – Malcolm Muggeridge

“Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.” – Malcolm Muggeridge

“We do not start out our Christian lives by working out our faith for ourselves. It is mediated to us by Christian tradition, in the forms of sermons, books, and established patterns of church life and fellowship. We read our bibles in the light of what we have learned from these sources. We approach Scripture with minds already formed by the mass of accepted opinions and viewpoints with which we have come into contact, in both the church and the world. It is easy to be unaware that it has happened. It is hard to even to begin to realize how profoundly tradition in this sense has molded us. But we are forbidden to become enslaved to human tradition, either secular, or Christian, whether it be Catholic tradition, critical tradition, or Ecumenical tradition. We may never assume the complete rightness of our own established ways of thought and practice and excuse ourselves the duty of testing and reforming them by the Scriptures.” – J.I. Packer

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.”  — Benjamin Disraeli

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