Quotables, Part 1

Quotations for brunch or lunch or for a midnight snack — I’m going to offer you these as a series of posts.  Soul food. I’ll dish up some thought-worthy sentences (in my opinion, of course) and then one longer quotation followed by my thoughts. At least, that’s my starting idea. Here we go.

1. “Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man,

         but coaxed down-stairs a step at a time.”

Mark Twain or Samuel Clemons.

2.    Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

Thomas A Edison

3.   Forgiveness is the economy of the heart…

Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.

 Hannah More


4.  We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.

 Dwight L. Moody

5.    Coming together is a beginning;

                  keeping together is progress;

                              working together is success.

                                                       Henry Ford

6.   “Life is a test and this world a place of trial. Always the problems –or it may be the same problem — will be presented to every generation in different forms.

Winston Churchill

What do you think of these half dozen munchable thoughts? Worth some brain simmering.  Note the authors: Samuel Clemens, Thomas Edison, Hannah More, D.L. Moody, Henry Ford, and Winston Churchill.

Wouldn’t you love to invite all of them to a dinner party? What conversation! Reaching back just a few hundred years, the range of era represented here does not dig deep into human history. Hannah More, an English writer, lived from 1745-1833. Clemens was born about two years after her death and lived until 1910. D. L. Moody (1837-1899) was a contemporary of Clemens — an interesting contrast between these men!  The fascinating association between Edison (1847-1931) and Ford (1863-1947)  is well known. Churchill is the last born of this assortment of six (1874-1965).

I don’t have time to read biographies now, but I fell in love with biographies the summer after fourth grade.

I never made the connection until right now, but I began to improve as a student in fifth grade — after that summer of falling in love with people of the past through weekly visits to our local library. I walked there and walked home with my stack of books. Learning to read in an era of the “look-say,”  “by guess or by golly” method had left me lost, and I had to figure it out on my own. I wasn’t quick at it, and repeated second grade. My fourth grade teacher passed me on to fifth, but told Mom that she expected I’d have to repeat fifth grade.

It was in fifth grade that I had an “old lady teacher” with white and gray hair piled high on her head, with a flabby neck and flabby upper arms that waved when she wrote on the black board.  I can’t remember her name, but I remember her influence. I remember that she was demanding and once was upset with me for not following her directions on a creative project. It’s interesting that as tough as she was, I responded well to her leadership. She had us keep a journal and write our thoughts on things. It was that year, writing in that journal (with who knows how many spelling errors) that I wrote that “I love to learn.” It was an epiphany for me. “I love to learn!”

I knew books were a main way of learning. I knew I was slower at school work than most others in my class. I also knew I wouldn’t give up. Whatever it would take, I’d put in the work and time. And over the coming years I did become a very good student, even as good as my big sister whom I admired and nearly worshiped.

I have a collection of biographies, and I’ve read some on most of these people I’ve quoted from today. I think I have three biographies of Churchill. His keen vision, fortitude, and forthrightness — these qualities square my slumping shoulders.

Through biographies, I witnessed examples of people who overcame a wide spectrum of obstacles.  You can taste this flavor by savoring these quotations, imbibing rich soul nourishment.

Romans 15:4 references Old Testament scriptures, but the principle can apply to good biographies and the great books of the world.   For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Categories: Spiritual Growth | Tags: | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Quotables, Part 1

  1. Shirley Tamplin

    Dear One,
    What an interesting blog!! Kay Arthur has said that we should read biographies of Christians to strengthen our faith. Having “Brunch” on special quotes struck me as a confirmation of chewing on the Word of God — a lesson on rumination — being introduced to my Bible Study ladies this Fall. We were taught this word (rumination) at the IBYC conferences years ago and I decided to share it with my classes.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts from your readings and for giving another glimpse of your “Growing Up Years”. Your love to learn is contagious. Blessings on your day — Lovingly, Shirley

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