This is an ever-expanding list of quotable quotes that shape my belief and life.
It’s long. But spend a little time here.
I promise there are gems you’ve never heard before.



“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
— Jesus of Nazareth

“Religion is a picture window,
Life is not a pretty picture…”

— Patty Larkin

“I don’t know if everyone has to come to terms with religion, but everyone has to come to terms with mystery, which is the business of religion.”
— Patricia Hempl

“God has no hands and feet but ours.”
— Theresa of Avila

“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth. For nothing is more precious than the life force and may the love of that force guide you as you go.”
–Patti Smith

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
— Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

“Distant nation…my community.
Street person…my responsibility.
If I have a care in the world, I have a gift to bring.”

— Indigo Girls

“Theology is the study of God and his (sic) ways. For all we know, dung beetles may study man (sic) and his (sic) ways and call it humanology. If so, we would probably be more touched and amused than irritated. One hopes that God feels likewise.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Logic lives in a bucket of paint,
Maybe I’m wrong, but maybe I ain’t
Cause both can be spread with no trouble at all.”

— Darden Smith

“Therefore, O Lord, give me true heavenly wisdom, that I may learn to seek you and to find you, and above all things to love you, and to understand and know all other things as they are, after the direction of your wisdom, and not otherwise. And give me grace, also, to withdraw myself from those who flatter me, and patiently to tolerate those who grieve me so that the way I have begun will bring me to a good and blessed ending.”

— Thomas a Kempis

“Even though that is true, if you do not know it yourself, it does you no good.”
— A Zen Koan

“If the only prayer you ever prayed in  your entire life was ‘Thank You,’ it would be enough.”
— Meister Eckhart

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

“When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist.”
— Dom Helder Camara

“This song was written in New York City
Of rich man, preacher, and slave
If Jesus was to preach what He preached in Galilee,
They would lay poor Jesus in His grave.”

— Woody Guthrie

“There’s good news and bad news from the historical Jesus. The good news: God says Caesar sucks. The bad news: God says Caesar is us.”
— John Dominic Crossan

“Music is real; it’s something you can touch and feel. It moves you – the bass literally shakes you and rocks you from the inside. Music makes your soul feel amazing while you’re performing it. It’s not air, it’s not wind, it’s not anything like that. It’s solid. It’s thick. It’s like summertime in New York.”
— Bijou Phillips

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of them we find in ourselves.”
— Thomas Merton

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”
— Lily Tomlin

“Be a master of the job before you. Be a student of the job above you. And be a teacher of the job below you.”
– Adelfa Callejo.

“You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is compassion.”
–Meister Eckhart

“[B]elieving that religion is a botched attempt to explain the world . . . is like seeing ballet as a botched attempt to run for a bus.”
— Terry Eagleton

“I am aware of the need for constant self-revision and growth, leaving behind the renunciations of yesterday and yet in continuity with all my yesterdays. For to cling to the past is to lose my continuity with the past, since this means clinging to what is no longer there.
My ideas are always changing, always moving, around one center, and I am always seeing the center from somewhere else.
Hence, I will always be accused of inconsistency. But I will no longer be there to hear the accusation.”

— Thomas Merton

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.”
— Reinhold Neibuhr

“In meditation we catch ourselves waging violence on parts of ourselves. This is the seedbed of War. All violence is the act of acting out our own violence toward our own heart.”
— Jim Finley

“Still you argue for an option,
And you angle for your case.
Like you wouldn’t know a burning bush,
If it blew up in your face…
Don’t ask what you are not doing,
Because your voice cannot command.
In time, we will move mountains.
And it will come, through your hands.”

— John Hiatt

“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.”
— Charlie Chaplin

“Why do you worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear? Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
— Jesus of Nazareth

“One of life’s best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.”
— Robert Fulghum

“I have found some of the uneducated poor who have exquisite taste and sentiment; and many, very many, of the rich who have scarcely any at all…I want you to converse more, abundantly more, with the poorest of the people…they have (many of them) faith and the love of God in a larger measure than any persons I know.”
— John Wesley

“Pay mind to your own life, your own health, and wholeness. A bleeding heart is of no help to anyone if it bleeds to death.”
— Frederick Buechner

“I don’t like going to bed at night, and I don’t like getting up in the morning.”
— Snoopy the Dog

“Don’t be tempted by the shiny apple; Don’t you eat of the bitter fruit.
Hunger only for a taste of justice; Hunger only for a world of truth,
‘Cause all that you have is your soul.”

–Tracy Chapman

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
— A.A. Milne

“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”
— Barry Lopez

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
–George Carlin

“Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”
— John Lennon

“Laughter is carbonated holiness.”
— Anne Lamott

“The greatest tragedy of theology in the past three hundred years has been the divorce of the theologian from the poet, the dancer, the musician, the painter, the dramatist, the actress, the movie-maker.”
— M.D. Chenu.

“But don’t confuse caring for weakness
You can’t put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free.”

— Willie Nelson

“Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”
— Jesus of Nazareth

“People with no hope will steal yours.”
— Martin Luther King Jr. *

“We wouldn’t worry so much about what people think of us, if we knew how seldom they do.”
— Oscar Wilde

“May we all find salvation in professions that heal.”
— Shawn Colvin

“You got to sing, like you don’t need the money,
Love like you’ll never get hurt,
You’ve got to dance, dance, dance, like no one is watching,
It’s got to come from the heart, it you want it to work.”

— Guy Clark

“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

“Until long after it matters,
you don’t know if you’re good enough.
You can bet your dreams will be battered,
So just go after what you love.”

— John Gorka

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is Grace.”
— Frederick Buechner

“The antidote for too much free speech is always more free speech.”
— Molly Ivins

“Oh how I wish I were a trinity,
So if I lost a part of me,
I’d still have two of the same to live.”

— Indigo Girls

“I find time to visit the sick and the poor; and I must do it, if I believe the Bible.”
— John Wesley

“The left has forgotten that every major social movement in American history –whether the abolition of slavery or women’s sufferage or child labor reform or, most famously, civil rights– was fueled and driven in large part by religion….Just as the right’s been controlled by a bunch of religious fundamentalists, the left’s been controlled by a group of secular fundamentalists. The left doesn’t get it, and they’re disrespectful and disdainful and they forget their own progressive history.”
— Jim Wallis

“May your love be there to guide us,
May it always keep us strong,
May we walk within your footsteps,
As you lead us ever on.”

— Dan Fogelberg

“Perhaps you are walking along at sunset, completely preoccupied with many things. Pausing to experience the beauty of the setting sun might be the furthest thing from your mind. Then, without warning, a single glance at the setting sun occasions an unforeseen, unchosen moment of awakening. As lovers, poets, artists, those who meditate, and all spiritually awake people know, it is so good that life is like this. Without our even seeking to be awakened we are, from time to time, awakened. Without even baiting our hook and throwing it into the water, a huge fish jumps right in the boat.”
— Jim Finley

* I cannot find the exact citation for this MLK quote, and would love for somebody to contact me with it….

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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