Notable Quotables



"God does not ask about our ability or our inability, but our availability." - Anonymous

"It is not my ability, but my response to God's ability, that counts." - Corrie ten Boom

"Anybody can do their best, but we are helped by the Spirit of God to do better than our best." - Catherine Bramwell Booth

"There is a great deal of unmapped country within us." - George Eliot

"Alas for those who never sing, but die with all their music in them." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt

"No talent can survive the blight of neglect" - Edgar A. Whitney

"The real tragedy in life is not in being limited to one talent, but in the failure to use the one talent." - Edgar W. Work



"Accept surprises that upset your plans, shatter your dreams, give a completely different turn to your day and who knows? - to your life.  Leave the Father free Himself to weave the pattern of your days." - Dam Helder Camara

"Acceptance says, True, this is my situation at the moment.  I'll look unblinkingly at the reality of it.  But I'll also open my hands to accept willingly whatever the loving Father sends." - Catherine Wood Marshall

"God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and wisdom to distinguish the one from the other." (Karl Paul) Reinhold Niebuhr

A man from Norfolk , VA called a local radio station to share this on Sept 11th, 2003 TWO YEARS AFTER THE TRAGEDIES OF 9/11/2001.  His name was Robert Matthews. These are his words:
    A few weeks before Sept. 11th, my wife and I found out we were going to have our first child. She planned a trip out to California to visit her sister.  On our way to the airport, we prayed that God would grant my wife a safe trip and be with her.  Shortly after I said 'amen,' we both heard a loud pop and the car shook violently.  We had blown out a tire. I replaced the tire as quickly as I could, but we still missed her flight.  Both very upset, we drove home.
    I received a call from my father who was retired NYFD. He asked what my wife's flight number was, but I explained that we missed the flight.  My father informed me that her flight was the one that crashed into the southern tower.  I was too shocked to speak. My father also had more news for me; he was going to help.  He said, “This is not something I can't just sit by for; I have to do something.”
    I was concerned for his safety, of course, but more because he had never given his life to Christ.  After a brief debate, I knew his mind was made up.  Before he got off of the phone, he said, “Take good care of my grandchild.”  Those were the last words I ever heard my father say; he died while helping in the rescue effort.
    My joy that my prayer of safety for my wife had been answered quickly became anger.  I was angry at God, at my father, and at myself. I had gone for nearly two years blaming God for taking my father away. My son would never know his grandfather, my father had never accepted Christ, and I never got to say good-bye.
    Then something happened.  About two months ago, I was sitting at home with my wife and my son, when there was a knock on the  door. I looked at my wife, but I could tell she wasn't expecting anyone. I opened the door to a couple with a small child.
    The man looked at me and asked if my father's name was Jake Matthews. I told him it was.  He quickly grabbed my hand and said, “I never got the chance to meet your father, but it is an honor to meet his son.”
    He explained to me that his wife had worked in the World Trade Center and had been caught inside after the attack.  She was pregnant and had been caught under debris.  He then explained that my father had been the one to find his wife and free her.
    My eyes welled up with tears as I thought of my father giving his life for people like this.  He then said, “there is something else you need to know.”  His wife then told me that as my father worked to free her, she talked to him and led him to Christ. I began sobbing at the news.
    When their baby boy was born, they named him Jacob Matthew, in honor of the man who gave his life so that a mother and baby could live.





I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. - Ancient Chinese Proverb



"When men grow virtuous in their old age, they only make a sacrifice to God of the Devil's leavings." - Alexander Pope

Great Truths That Adults Have Learned:

1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge . . . mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

Great Truths About Growing Old:

1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

The Four Stages of Life:

1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.

“Testimony to the grace and faithfulness of God is valuable at any period of life and in any circumstances.  But it is especially meaningful at the end of life when death threatens.  To stand at that point and look back over a long life in which God has neither left you nor forsaken you and praise Him for it – that is a great testimony.  It is one of the chief opportunities of old age.” – James Montgomery Boice.



Decatur's Law states, "My country, right or wrong."  This the popular, patriotic, telegraphed version of the toast that Commodore Stephen Decatur given at a dinner in his honor in April 1816, in Norfolk, Virginia.  The fuller version is "Our country!  In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country; right or wrong."  John Quincy Adams later added an amendment, ". . . may our country always be successful, but whether successful or otherwise, always right (letter, 8/1/1816)."  Carls Schurz added another amendment, "Our country, right or wrong.  When right, to be kept right.  When wrong, to be put right (speech, 10/17/1899)."  The final word came from G.K. Chesterton in a disclaimer, "'My country, right or wrong.' is a thing no partiot would think of saying except in a deperate case.  It is like saying, 'My mother, drunk or sober.' (Defense of Patriotism in The Defendant, 1901)."

"In 1778 George Washington wrote a letter to a fellow patriot, Thomas Nelson Jr., in which he marveled at how much God was helping the American cause: “The hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this [the colonies’ victories in the American war for Independence], that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” In other words, God has helped us so much that anyone who can’t see that and can’t thank Him must be worse than an unbeliever." - Dr. D. James Kennedy, What If America Were A Christian Nation Again?

Only the divine hand of God preserved America from Spanish discovery.  Columbus’ ship was headed directly toward the Carolinas, but during the long voyage, the frightened, restless crew threatened mutiny. They planned to throw Columbus overboard and return to Europe. Suddenly the dry went up that land had been sighted to the southwest. Columbus’ log tells us that they headed towards that land, but what they had seen was merely a cloud on the horizon. Several days later, however, the men were once again ready to overthrow Columbus. Oddly enough, a flock of birds flew over the ship, heading southwest. A second correction was made, diverting the ship from what would have been North Florida; thus Columbus landed in San Salvador (in the Bahamas). For all of his faults, Columbus was motivated by the Lord to make his historic, death-defying voyage. Nonetheless, the colonies the Spanish settled turned out much different from the colonies settled by the Puritans and Pilgrims from England. And to think, if it had not been for the flight of some birds, America would probably have the same culture as that of South and Central America today.

Only the divine hand of God preserved America from French invasion and takeover.  In 1606, fourteen years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, the French made an effort to colonize New England. Under the leadership of Pierre DeMonts, they made three attempts. On the first two their ships were driven from the coast by strong winds, while on the third attempt the chips were destroyed on the treacherous shoals of Cape Cod, and DeMonts was killed.  In 1746 the French swept down from Nova Scotia undet the leadership of Duke D’Anville, with forty men-of-war and thousands of French troops, determined to completely wipe out the English colonists and make New England a French possession.  Receiving intelligence of this coming attack, Reverend Mr. Price in the Old South Church in Boston stood up before the congregation and called for a day of fasting and prayer so God would intervene. As he prayed, the shutters of the church suddenly began to rattle, startling the whole congregation. He stopped praying and realized what a strong wind had begun to blow. So he returned to more earnest prayer. Gradually the wind picked up until it became a raging gale. The Duke D’Anville was not only routed, his fleet was destroyed. Thousands of troops were drowned, and the Duke and his leading general committed suicide.

"Time and again, before and during the War for Independence, God seemed to act on America’s behalf. For example, He repeatedly spared the life of the military general who led us to victory, George Washington. Once, in 1755, during the French and Indian Wars, when he was in his early twenties, Washington survived a massacre of sorts outside Pittsburgh by the banks of the Monongahela River. An Indian who lay in concealment leaped up and fired at Washington when he was only three or four paces away. Yet the Indian missed the general. Another Indian shot fifteen bullets at Washington and missed him fifteen times. During the same encounter, Washington had two horses shot out from under him. He had four bullet holes in his coat." Dr. D. James Kennedy, What If America Werre A Christian Nation Again?

"And then came the famous incident at Brooklyn Heights in 1776, when the British army surrounded Washington’s army on land while the British fleet lay offshore. There was no way of escape; the following morning they would be destroyed. Washington determined to try to slip his army away during the night on every rowboat and sloop that he could muster. His officers told him they would be seen from the British frigates and destroyed, but Washington resolved to go ahead. As they started to embark, a fog rolled in from sea, totally concealing them. When the fog lifted in the morning, the British were astounded to find that the American Army had completely disappeared . . . Even more amazing is the fact that a woman in Brooklyn who was a British sympathizer discovered Washington’s plan and hastily sent her servant to reveal it to the British. But by the providence of God, the servant rushed into the Hessian lines. These Hessians, German mercenaries hired by the British, could not understand one word the servant spoke. They kept him until the morning when they had an interpreter who told them, too late, what Washington was going to do – and by this time had already done." - Dr. D. James Kennedy, What If America Were A Christian Nation Again

God's hand of providence preserved the Pilgrims during the voyage, and after they arrived.  The Mayflower itself was a wine cargo boat. The wine had penetrated much into the interior of the ship, which prevented many diseases from afflicting the Pilgrims and strangers on that historic voyage in 1620.  The new world was covered with savage Indians. One of the fiercest of those tribes dwelt near Plymouth and would have most assuredly slaughtered the Pilgrims only days after their arrival. However, three years before their arrival, a pestilence destroyed all the Indians, leaving nothing but the corn they had stored up for winter, the same corn that saved the Pilgrims from utter extinction during the first winter.

"During the Pilgrim’s maiden voyage in 1620, the Mayflower encountered a fierce storm in which one of her main beams was cracked.  It just so happened that their teaching Elder, William Brewster, had lugged his own printing press on board and its “great iron screw” was able to raise the damaged beam back to its original position.  There would not have been a Plymouth landing had it not been for a preacher’s burden to print Bibles and spiritual literature.” – Dr. William Grady, What Hath God Wrought (p. 31)



"No person is able to bear the weight of yesterday's resentment and tomorrow's problems." - Dr. Ronnie Simpson, Twelve Lessons on Christian Counseling

"Anyone can become angry, but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way - this is not easy." - Aristotle



"What will finally destroy us is not communism or facism, but man acting like God." - Malcolm Muggeridge


“In his later years, the apostle Paul spent more time in preparing the churches for the great future apostasy than in pushing the work farther on.” – David Otis Fuller, D.D., Which Bible?, pp. 188-189

“While John lived, heresy could make no serious headway. He had hardly passed away, however, before perverse teachers infested the Christian Church. The doom of heathenism, as a controlling force before the superior truths of Christianity, was soon foreseen by all. These years were times which saw the New Testament books corrupted in abundance. – David Otis Fuller, D.D., Which Bible?, p. 190


“God is as near to His creatures as the ear to the mouth.” - Rabbinic Saying

“Human beings can hardly hear two people talking at once, but God, if all the world calls to Him at one time, hears their cry.” - Rabbinic Saying

“A man is annoyed by being worried by the requests of his friends, but with God, all the time man puts his needs and requests before Him, God loves him all the more.” - Rabbinic Saying



How tedious and tasteless the hours
    when Jesus no longer I see!
Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowers,
    Have all lost their sweetness to me;
The midsummer sun shines but dim,
    the fields strive in vain to look gay;
But when I am happy in Him,
    December’s as pleasant as May.
                                         – John Newton



"The Bible is to the theologian what nature is to the scientist, a body of unorganized, or only partly organized facts.  God has not seen fit to write the Bible in the form of a systematic theology; it remains for us, therefore, to gather together the scattered facts and to build them up into a logical system." - Henry Clarence Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology

"When we recall that only a very small percentage of books survive more than a quarter of a century, that a much smaller percentage last for a century, and that only a very small number live a thousand years, we at once realize that the Bible is a unique book.  An when in addition to this we remember the circumstances under which the Bible has survived, that fact becomes very startling . . . Neither imperial edict nor ecclesiastical restraints have succeeded in exterminating the Bible.  The greater the efforts put forth to accomplish such a destruction the greater thas been the circulation of the Bible.  The latest attempt to rob the Bible of its authority is the effort to degrade it to the level of all the other ancient religious books.  If the Bible must be in circulation, then it has to be shown that it does not possess supernatural authority.  But the Bible continues to have supernatural power, and it is being read by millions of believers around the world and being translated into hundreds of languages.  The fact of the indestructability of the Bible strongly suggests that it is the embodiment of a divine revelation." - Henry Clarence Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology



"There cannot be such a thing as a silent Christian.  If he is silent he is not a Christian.  If he is a Christian he is not silent." - Sanford C. Mills, A Hebrew Christian Looks at Romans



“There are two kinds of beauty; there is a beauty which God gives at birth, and which withers as a flower. And there is a beauty which God grants when by His grace men are born again. That kind of beauty never vanishes but blooms eternally.” - Abraham Kuyper



Count Fulk the Black – “Fulk the Black’s catalog of crimes was a long one.  He expected a heavy sentence and that was what he got.  He is said to have fainted when it was passed.  Shackled, he was condemned to a triple Jerusalem pilgrimage: across most of France and Savoy, over the Alps, through the Papal states, Carinthia, Hungary, Bosnia, mountainous Serbia, Bulgaria, Constantinople, and the length of mountainous Anatolia, then down through modern Syria and Jordan to the holy city.  In irons, his feet bleeding, he made this round trip three times – 15,300 miles – and the last time he was dragged through the streets on a hurdle while two well muscled men lashed his naked back with bullwhips.” - William Manchester, A World Lit Only By Fire
“Torture was in several cases used to force witnesses to testify, or to induce a confessing heretic to name other heretics.  It took the form of flogging, burning, the rack, or solitary imprisonment in dark and narrow dungeons.  The feet of the accused might be slowly roasted over burning coals; or he might be bound upon a triangular frame, and have his arms and legs pulled by cords wound on a windlass.  Sometimes the diet of the imprisoned man was restricted to weaken his body and will and render him susceptible to such psychological torture as alternate promises of mercy or threats of death.” – Will Durant, The Story of Civilization



"Most people won't change until the pain of where they are exceeds the pain of change." - Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover


“The change of one word in the Constitution of the United States, at least the transposition of two, could vitally affect thousands of people, millions of dollars, and many millions of acres of land. It took centuries of training to place within that document a combination of words which cannot be tampered with, without catastrophic results. It represents the mentality of a great people, and to change it would bring chaos into their well-ordered life.” – David Otis Fuller, D.D., Which Bible?, p. 301

Child Rearing:

"When it comes to rearing children, every society is only twenty years away from barbarism.  Twenty years is all we have to accomplish the task of civilizing the infants who are born into the midst of each year.  These savages know noting of our language, our culture, our religion, our values, our customs of interpersonal relations.  The infant is totally ignorant about communism, facism, democracy, civil liberties, the rights of the minority as contrasted with the pejoratives of the majority, respect, decency, customs, conventions, and manners.  The barbarian must be tamed, if civilization is to survive." - Dr. Albert Siegel, The Standard Observer

"Every baby starts life as a little savage.  He is completely selfish and self-centered.  He wants what he wants when he wants it; his bottle, his mother's attention, his playmates' toys, his uncle's watch, or whatever.  Deny him these and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which would be murderous were he not so helpless.  He's dirty, he has no morals, no knowledge, no developed skills.  This means that all children, not just certain children, but all children are born delinquent.  If permitted to continue in their self-centered world of infancy, given free reign to their impulsive actions to satisfy each want, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist." - The Minnesota Crime Commission

Vance Havner was a fan of the discipline style taught in the book of Proverbs.  Havner introduced a message at the 1982 Moody Bible Insitute Founder's Week Conference with a poem that sums up the folly of our ignorance of Solomon's wisdom on the subject:


Junior bit the meter man
Junior kicked the cook,
He’s just anti-social now
According to the book.
Junior smashed the clock and lamp,
Junior hacked the tree;
Destructive trends are all explained
In chapters 2 and 3.
Junior threw his milk at mom,
Junior screamed for more;