Words to Die By

These are the things you are to teach and insist on. —1 Timothy 6:2

Everyone is remembered for certain things, and my Dad is no exception. Over the course of his long and fruitful ministry, he taught a number of different congregations many of the same themes—usually employing some of the same lines over and over again. A few of those quips became known as PF-isms, and on this Father's Day weekend, some of us will probably remember the last time we heard him say at least a few of them.

  • “God gave some people a four-cylinder brain and He gave others an eight-cylinder brain. But no matter how many cylinders He’s given you, the important thing is that you use all of them.”

  • “You’re looking good, but that doesn’t mean you’re good looking!”

  • “Delaying a decision for Christ until you completely understand all of its implications is like delaying a decision to eat until you fully understood how that food becomes hair, fingernails and muscle.”

  • “Imprint this on the frontal lobe of your brain.” (Before teaching a profound spiritual thought)

  • “Life is very short and eternity is very long—there’s a Hell to be shunned and an eternity to be gained.”

  • (Response to the statement, “I’m a Catholic!”) “Are you a saved Catholic or a lost Catholic?”

  • (Holding up a Bible) “This book can keep you from sin and sin can keep you from this book.”

  • (At any funeral, recognizing what must be the glory of their heavenly home) “We will miss him (her), but we wouldn’t wish them back for anything in the world.”

  • “Be a come-er all summer—and while you’re away, pray!” (Alternative we used around the house: “Be a come-er all summer and a sinner all winter!”)

  • “I’m just bragging on Jesus!”

  • “If you want to stay young, work with young people—if you want to die young, try to keep up with them!”

  • “God never sends thirsty souls to empty wells to drink.”

  • “With my fingers.” (Response to the question, “How are you feeling?”)

  • “With my eyes shut.” (Response to the question, “How did you sleep?”)

  • “I’m not going to ease up, let up, shut up or give up until I’m taken up. As a matter of fact, I’m just getting warmed up!”

PF lived what he taught. He didn’t just live by words like these—he died by them. It's been five years and we still miss you Pops.

But we wouldn’t wish you back for anything in the world.


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