Can I Quote You on That?

Alright, I confess. I can’t think of anything to write about. Well, that’s not exactly true. There are many things to write about.  It’s just that they are discouraging and pessimistic; the Presidential impeachment, fires in Australia, global warming and the looming split of the United Methodist Church. (More on that later.) Truth is I’m just not in the mood for discussing these woeful and challenging issues.

Initially I considered expanding on my sermon on 1 Corinthians 1: 1-9. Paul writes to his church in Corinth addressing issues as divisive as those we face today. He prompts his people to remember whose Grace they are under and where their spiritual gifts came from. They, and we, should not be focused on the things that divide us but on that which unites us, Christ Jesus. I’m afraid a short article simple wouldn’t allow me the space to discuss this or any of the aforementioned subjects in depth.

Usually I try to find some humorous and insightful quote for my article. While combing the wisdom of Will Rogers, I decided what was needed is a collection of both whimsical and insightful sayings from people with greater wisdom than I. There is plenty of time to seriously discuss the issues which overwhelm us today. For now, I would enjoy sharing some of my favorite quotes. Speaking of being serious, one of my favorites comes from Elbert Hubbard – “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”

Chinese philosopher Confucius offers this advice, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

Emerson’s words should remind us that we may be the cause of our own trouble, “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”

And Dr. Seuss reminds us that we cannot escape from the silliness of our lives. “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

I can see why Rodney Dangerfield got no respect from his wife, “I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her.”

Fellow Baby Boomers might remember Frank Zappa’s quote, “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.”

Speaking of being open minded, I am reminderd of a plaque on someone’s wall which read, “Old age is when a broad mind and a narrow waist change places.”

Albert Einstein’s equation seems to fit with today’s political culture, “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”

Thomas Edison had an optimistic view of failure, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Truman Capote likewise saw failure as a positive, “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.”

The great philosopher Anonymous said, “Common sense is like deodorant. The people who need it most never use it.”

Again, Dr Seuss reminds us, “You oughta be thankful. A whole heaping lot. For the people and places. You’re lucky you’re not.”

A man named John Southard wisely advised, “The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”

I like Josh Sterns’ suggestion for finding happiness,” If you love somebody, set them free—it also works equally well if you hate somebody.”

Groucho Marx expressed the same sentiment, “I never forget a face—but in your case, I’ll be glad to make an exception.”

Someone named Sir Norman Wisdom observed that “As you get older, three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two.”

Anonymous offers another relevant quote, “There is one word that describes people that don’t like me: Irrelevant.”

Since I need to watch my diet, I agree with another of Anonymous’s observations, “Eggs are fantastic for a fitness diet. If you don’t like the taste, just add cocoa, flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and cook at 350 for 30 minutes.”

Since I began by searching for a Will Rogers quote, I will end with this gem.

“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”

Hopefully you enjoyed these bits of wit and wisdom better than some dead serious reflection on serious issues. It is important to put our live and worldly problems in perspective.  Yet, I would be remiss if I didn’t address the issue of our United Methodist Church splitting into two separate denominations. Rather than write at length I encourage you to read the Protocol which will be voted on at the General Conference in May. You can go to our website to learn more about the issues facing the United Methodist church at, or you can go to the Great Plains website and scroll to Bishop Saenz comment, “Bishop offers thoughts on Protocol for UMC’s future” and an article entitled, “Reps from across human sexuality spectrum sign agreement for amicable separation”.

Since we are quoting others, I leave you with what Jesus said to the Pharisees, in Luke 14:11 “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Pastor Dan

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