Henry Feyerabend


1—Words, words, words

Dr. Wilfred Funk, the well-known dictionary publisher, was asked to select the ten most expressive words in the English language. Here is the list:

  • the most bitter word - alone
  • the most tragic - death
  • the most revered - mother
  • the most beautiful - love
  • the most cruel - revenge
  • the most peaceful - tranquil
  • the saddest - forgotten
  • the warmest - friendship
  • the coldest - no
  • the most comforting - faith

-James S. Hewett

2. —The world needs messages

The world does not need sermons; it needs a message. You can go to the seminary and learn how to preach sermons, but you will have to go to God to get messages. -Oswald J. Smith, Leadership, Vol. 8, no. 3.

See: Acts 8:35; I Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 4:5.

3 —Rules of conversation

Avoid company where it is not profitable or necessary, and in those occasions, speak little, and last. Silence is wisdom where speaking is folly, and always safe. Some are so foolish as to interrupt and anticipate those that speak instead of hearing and thinking before they answer, which is uncivil, as well as silly. If thou thinkest twice before thou speakest once, thou wilt speak twice the better for it.

Better to say nothing than not to the purpose. And to speak pertinently consider both, what is fit, and when it is fit, to speak. In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory or an unjust interest; and endeavor to gain, rather than to expose, thy antagonist. William Penn, Leadership, Vol. 7, no. 3.

See: Ecclesiastes 3:7; Amos 5:13; Proverbs 17:27.

4 —Forgetting words

The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten. The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.

The purpose of the word is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to. -Chuang Tzu

See: Job 16:3; Proverbs 15:2; Proverbs 4:7.

5 —Keeping warm

Philip Henry's advice to his daughter: "If you want to keep warm in this cold season (January, 1692), take these four directions:

1) Get into the sun under his blessed beams there are warmth and comfort.

2) Go near the fire Ts not my word like a fire?' How many cheering passages there are!

3) Keep in motion and action stirring up the grace and gift of God that is in you.

4) Seek Christian communion 'How can one be warm alone?'" Charles Haddon Spurgeon

See: Psalms 89:15-16; Eccl 4:11; Jer 23:29; 2 Tim 1:6-7.

6 —Thoughtless word

In a country church of a small village an altar boy serving the priest at Sunday mass accidentally dropped the cruet of wine. The village priest struck the altar boy sharply on the cheek and in a gruff voice shouted: "Leave the altar and don't come back!" That boy became Tito, the Communist leader. In the cathedral of a large city an altar boy serving the bishop at Sunday mass accidentally dropped the cruet of wine. With a warm twinkle in his eyes the bishop gently whispered: "Someday you will be a priest." That boy grew up to become Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Oh, the power of words, be they written or spoken! -James S. Hewett.

7 —Benefit of apology

An apology is a good way to have the last word. James S. Hewett.

8 —A thin line

Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy. James S. Hewett.

9 —Rare restraint

Albert Einstein had a wholesome disregard for the tyranny of custom. Once as a guest of honor at a dinner given for him by the president of Swarthmore College he was called on for a speech. He said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I am very sorry but I have nothing to say" and sat down. A few seconds later he stood back up and said, "In case I do have something to say, I'll come back." Six months later he wired the president of the college with the message: "Now I have something to say." Another dinner was held and Einstein made a speech. -James S. Hewett.

10 —Conversational grace

An attractive woman was taken to dinner one night by William E. Gladstone, the distinguished British statesman. The next evening she attended a dinner where she sat next to Benjamin Disraeli, his equally distinguished opponent. Asked her opinion of the two men, she replied thoughtfully: "When I left the dining room after sitting with Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman in England." -James S. Hewett.

Great Thoughts and Funny Sayings

1 -Trifle

Little drops of water, little grains of sand, make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land. -J. F. Carney.

For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horse-shoe nail.

-Benjamin Franklin.

2. —Resignation

Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21.

It seems that nothing ever gets to going good till there's a few resignations. Kin Hubbard.

3 —Majority

One, on God's side, is a majority. Wendell Phillips.

The opinion of the majority is not the final proof of what is right. Schiller.

4 —Impression

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

5 —Ear

One pair of ears draws a hundred tongues.

The ear is the road to the heart. French proverb

We have two ears and one mouth that we may listen the more and talk the less. Greek proverb.

6 —Criticism

Criticism wouldn't be so hard to take if it weren't so often right.

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.

Two things are bad for the heart: running upstairs and running down people.

There's not the least thing can be said or done, but people will talk and find fault. Miguel de Cervantes.

Criticism is most effective when it sounds like praise. Arnold Glasow.

Blame-all and praise-all are two blockheads.

The sting of reproof is the truth of it.

Really to stop criticism one must die. French proverb.

The only impeccable writers are those that never wrote. William Hazlitt.

7 —Critic

A critic is a legless man who teaches running.

A critic is a wet blanket that soaks everything it touches.

If you have no critics you likely have no successes. Malcolm Forbes.

The critics arrived after the world was created. He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help. Abraham Lincoln.

8 -Mob

A mob is a monster with many hands and no brains.

9 —Late

Better late than never, but better never late. Who rises late must trot all day. French proverb.

It is too late to come with the water when the house is burned down. Italian proverb.

Henry Feyerabend writes from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, were he works as associate producer of the "It Is Written" program.