I am baptised

Don't believe what you read

Well, here I am again, with the latest in a long series of rants, although this one isn't strictly grammatical in its subject matter, but here we go.

Although the wonderful people at Google have put together the finest search engine known to mankind, it still has its limitations. The fact that you find my pages on the top page whether you are looking for "suicide poems" or for "holy week devotions" tends to worry me a little. There are other extraordinary search strings that lead here, and it's an eye-opener to see (a) exactly what odd things people search for and (b) that they find their way here as a result.

I believe that Google needs a competent driver. I also have pages about Vanuatu, where my family and I lived for three years. People email me questions about the country that I cannot answer, but a couple of considered minutes with Google usually turns up the answer. If I could think of a way to make money from this skill, I would do so.

Instead, I spend some time dealing with the questions on a Christian mailing list, which sometimes has questions posted like
We were at Church tonight early and we were playing and singing some songs. Someone started the song, I wont have to worry, When I reach the other side
All my troubles will be over, and Ill rest forever more,
My eyes will be on Jesus, and my heart will be on him,
And I wont have to worry anymore. ...
and I was able to post an answer after only a few minutes of searching. I always make sure that I can find at least two independent versions of something before assuming it's the truth, something which many researchers seem to forget.

So I was able to answer
As usual, Google is your friend...
I don't know the song, but Google does.

Down here the burden's heavy and the road is rough and long,
Sometimes my feet grow weary and so slow.
There's a brighter day a-coming, soon I'll step on heaven's shore,
And I won't have to worry anymore.


No I won't have to worry when I reach the other shore.
All my troubles will be over and I'll rest for evermore.
My eyes will be on Jesus, and my heart will be aglow,
And I won't have to worry anymore.

Someday when life is over and I've said my last goodbyes,
I'll see the Savior standing at the door.
I'll hear him say, "You're welcome. All your cares you've left behind
And you won't have to worry any more."

and this brightened up the life of at least one pastor, who mailed his thanks shortly afterwards. However, a week or so later, a much more challenging email came my way. I don't think I care to name the author of the question for reasons that will become apparent in a moment:

Does anyone have or know the quote supposedly by mark twain ... that is something to this nature ....
It is not what I do not understand of the Bible that bothers me, but rather what I do know of the Bible that bothers me.
Again I know that is not the quote, but rather the jest of it.

Ignoring for a moment the fact that he meant "gist" rather than "jest", I thought that I might be able to help him out, but I found that this one was much harder. However, after nearly an hour of Googling, I was able to unearth the original quotation, and I posted the following reply:
This time, Google wasn't so helpful to me.
Well, from the gist of the quotation, I think it was
"Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture which they cannot understand, but as for me, I have always noticed that the passages in Scripture that trouble me most are those I do understand."
Although that quotation is cited in over a dozen websites, it's always "Mark Twain once said..." and nobody gives a source for it.
Incidentally, one of these pages with the quotation on it is one of yours:http://URL-goes-here
I will continue to look for the source, but I am not yet convinced that it is genuine Mark Twain quotation.

To his credit, I received the following response pretty soon:

I knew that I had used the quote in one of my sermons, but could not find it. So thanks for not only finding the summation of the quotes ... but also it being used in one of my previous sermons! :) I look a bit reddish!

And also this, which offers at least as much insight

Just thought of this ... a preacher professor once told us would-be preachers ... When you use a quote use it this way ...

Sort of humorous ... since I changed it this time in my sermon for Sunday night to say ... "It's been said ..."
Next time I can say, "I've always said ..." Ha!
Thanks for the help ... don't weary yourself finding the source ... I will soon be it.

So don't know if it's Twain or not. Please let me know if you do know. While I was musing on this, I received this email on another subject:

On your web page you point out that almost everyone knows that "may you live in interesting times" is an ancient Chinese curse. This may be so, but it appears that the "well known fact" is actually false! I think you would find a very interesting and careful examination of this myth.

Yes, he's quite right! I do find that page fascinating, but I would like to point out that I didn't ever mean to claim that it was an ancient Chinese curse, but that people say it is.

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