In front of God and everybody

This saying arose to popularity in the mid-20th century,
and the earliest known printed reference is found in The Saturday Evening Post, 1947, Volume 219, page 137:

“I straighten up. I wink. I do not make
him answer right there in front of God and everybody…”

It was used in the Warner Brothers romantic drama, A Summer Place in 1959 starring Richard
Eagan and Dorothy McGuire, with young Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee.      “In front of God and everybody this

It became even more widely popularized by jokes and sarcastic
remarks, and the 1986 book, Confessions
of April Grace, In Front of God and Everybody, by K.D. McCrite, brought it to
the forefront of popular culture. The idea behind this is based on the biblical truth that God
is omniscient—He sees everything we do.

A Labor of love

This familiar cliché is biblical in origin. It is found in
two separate New Testament
scriptures. Hebrews 6:10, KJV, 1611,

“For God is not
unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward
his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” 

The other reference is found in I Thessalonians 1:3. “Remembering without
ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our
Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;” (KJV)

It is unknown who penned the Epistle to the Hebrews, but those written to the Thessalonians are identified as being from the Apostle Paul. The similarities in writing style have led many to believe that Hebrews was also St.

Breaking new ground

Through the ages when farmers cleared wooded areas for making new crops, it was called “new ground,” and when they first plowed the area, it was called breaking new ground. It was first used in this sense in the 1640s according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. This came to mean, figuratively, doing something new and innovative; making new discoveries in any field of endeavor. This same source stated figurative use of “groundbreaking” began in 1884. Idiomatic use of “breaking ground,” however, is clear forty years earlier in an 1844 publication called “Draft of an answer to the dissent and protest of certain ministers and elders who have seceded from the Synod of Canada in connexion with the Church of Scotland, by the Committee appointed by the Synod for that purpose.” It was published by the Kingston Chronicle and Gazette for the Presbyterian Church in Canada.

Excuses, excuses, excuses!

The word excuse means a pretext of justification. Used came into the English language in the mid-13th century. Several poets have used this as a premise for their
thought-provoking verses. But the actual act of making excuses goes back to
the dawn of human existence. The first biblical example is from the Genesis 3:12
and 13 when Adam blamed Eve for giving him the forbidden fruit, and in turn, Eve
blamed the serpent.

It rains on the just and on the unjust

Does it sometimes feel like you are getting “rained on” more
than your share? That bad things keep happening to you and your family? This old adage is from the Bible in Matthew 5:45, KJV. It is used to mean that good and
bad come to all people. “That ye may be the
children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on
the evil and on the good, and sendeth
rain on the just and on the unjust.”

It is easy to see and feel the effects
of what is happening to you.

Spare the rod and spoil the child

Back in 1985 Dr. Benjamin Spock, an American pediatrician, the author of  the best-selling 1946 book titled Baby and Child Care, advised in a new edition of his book that spanking “taught children that the larger, stronger person has the power to get his way whether or not he is in the right.”  He further suggested that the “American tradition of spanking” might contribute to violence in the United States. After that many parents refrained from corporal punishment and the results were that violence increased–just the opposite from what Dr. Spock predicted. Though not a biblical phrase, “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is
a rephrasing of the biblical admonition found in Proverbs 13:24:

“He who spareth the
rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes.” (KJV)

As with anything
else in the Bible, this is to be properly understood. A parent who loves his or
her child will not beat the child, but apply punishment sensibly and lovingly. When I was growing up, I was spanked and it taught me that disobedience was not

As honest as the day is long

This is an interesting saying that I have heard practically all my life. Partly because my precious parents were very honest and expected nothing less of me. I heard them both use it about good people when I was growing up back in the 1950s and ‘60s. I have done research on words and phrases for many
years, because I was curious and wanted to know how they got started

The online forum, ‘Phrase Finder’ claims that this
cliché is likely of recent origin and according to James Rogers’ Dictionary of Clichés, 1985 is first
found in print in The Shark was a Boojum (1941).   

But this is much older.

It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness

I used a close form
of this in my newspaper column this week, but it is very appropriate her as
well. In today’s world
almost every day we hear or see in print or on television where someone is
lashing out against someone else because they don’t agree with them. Often
folks complain about the evil deeds and darkness in the world. All of that
bothers me too. A lot.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

This proverbial saying
has been utilized by numerous authors and leadership experts. John C. Maxwell,
Zig Ziglar, Jack Canfield, Ryan C. Lowe, Anthony Robbins, and numerous others
have used it in books. Then there was Coach Vince Lombardi who latched on to
it. In fact, it has become one of the most oft-quoted proverbs of modern times. It has been quoted repeatedly by sales organizations to emphasize the
importance of knowing one’s product or service ‘inside out’ before attempting
to present it to prospective buyers.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is week

This cliché is
taken directly from the Bible, from
the words of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the night of his arrest when he
found the disciples sleeping when he had told them to sit and wait while he
went to pray. The passage appears in the parallel Gospels in Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:36, the latter being an exact quote of the last portion in
the King James Version, 1611:

 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into
temptation. The spirit is willing, but
the flesh is weak.”

It is used when
someone has expressed good intentions and failed to follow through. Even as soldiers
in the army of the King of Kings, there are times when we fail. In order to
better serve our Savior we need the encouragement and fellowship of our brothers
and sisters.