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“Music is how I pray” Duke Ellington

“If it weren’t for the message of mercy and pity in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, I would just as soon be a rattlesnake” – Kurt Vonnegut, writer, agnostic and self-proclaimed lover of Jesus

“It is my experience that practically everything is left up to chance much of the time; men who believe in good and evil, and who believe that good should win, should watch for those moments when it is possible to play God – we should seize those moments. There won’t be many.” – Dr. Owen Larch in John Irving’s “The Cider House Rules”

“Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the crown of thorns.” – Charlotte Bronte

“Humility, after the first shock, is a cheerful virtue: it is the high-minded unbeliever desperately trying in the teeth of repeated disillusions to retain his ‘faith in human nature’ who is really sad.” – C.S. Lewis, “The Problem of Pain”

“We Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand (the New Testament) because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. … I find the New Testament very easy to understand. Thus far I have found it tremendously difficult to act literally upon what it so plainly says.” – Soren Kierkegaard, “Provocations”

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” – Matthew 25:45

The Rev. Eugene Stockstill is pastor of Ebenezer United Methodist Church and Myrtle United Methodist Church in Union County.

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