Ask Away!

One of the newest additions on To Be Honest… is if you have any questions (about anything)  no matter how trivial, (the more trivial the better) ask away!

Just place your question in the comment area below and I will search, scour the Internet, ask friends, etc. to find an answer for you.

I started this website back in the summer of 2013 due to the idea of a question I had. And of course the question was trivial! 😉

Our family were at the Jersey shore staying in a hotel and when I opened a drawer next to the bed, low and behold there was a Bible!  Not a shocker.  But then I actually wondered why do hotels put a bible in every room?  I thought, hey this can be a great idea to interact with all of you out there on the world wide web!  Needless to say I didn’t start the blog the way I intended and I’m sorry about that.  Instead I found interesting articles, books, and other things to comment on and left out the Question part.

Now here’s what I found on the Bible Question that was the idea of To Be Honest…

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“Hotel Bibles” are also called “Gideon Bibles” after Gideon International, a group of male missionaries and Christian businessmen who took it upon themselves to provide this work to hotels across the nation.

Here’s how it all started… In 1898, John H. Nicholson stayed at the crowded Central Hotel in Boscobel, Wisconsin. The place was so crowded that he had to share a room with another person named Samuel E. Hill. They got to talking, as you might do if you were sharing a room with a stranger, and discovered that they were both Christians. That evening, they prayed together and talked about creating an association of traveling Christian businessmen.

In 1899, they put the idea to practice. Adding another to their number—William J. Knights—the men headed a meeting at a YMCA with the purpose to create an association of men who wished to achieve “mutual recognition, personal evangelism, and united service for the Lord.”

Initially, the three men mentioned above were the only people in the association because they were the only people who actually attended the meeting. Hills was named President, Knights Vice President, and Nicholson took on the roles of both treasurer and secretary. With that done, the men decided their new organization needed a name, and what better way to come up with one than to pray to God to lead them to the best one? The prayer apparently worked, or Knights simply had an epiphany, because not long after the prayer he directed the other two men to the Old Testament story about Gideon and declared, “We shall be called Gideons.”

Gideon’s story is recorded in the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Judges, chapters 6-8. He isn’t the most obvious of namesakes for a band of Christian men—one translation of his name is “destroyer.” However, Gideon was a man who was charged by God to lead a relatively small number of men (300) against a drastically larger army, and he was able to beat them. Gideon was a fitting namesake for the tiny organization who had big dreams. Gideon International says that the organization tries to keep with Gideon’s mindset… No, not hunting down and killing a massive army of Midianites, but willing to do God’s work at any time and in any way He intends it to be done.

Over the next few years, the Gideon Association gained more members, almost all of whom were travelling Christian businessmen who spent a lot of time in hotel rooms. The topic of becoming more effective witnesses in hotels arose, and in 1908 The Bible Project was adopted. The project was proposed by one of the association’s trustees who believed that the Gideons should make it their goal to put a Bible in every hotel room in the United States because it “would be a gracious act, wholly in keeping with the divine mission of the Gideon Association.”

Though the Bible Project was adopted in Louisville, Kentucky, the first Gideon Bible was actually placed in a hotel in Superior, Montana in 1908. Since then, more than 1.8 billion Bibles have been placed in hotels throughout the United States and in over 190 other countries, written in over 90 different languages.

But how do all of these Bibles get into the hotel rooms, and who pays for them all?

The Bibles are paid for entirely by donations to the group, and donations likely stem from individuals or churches who support the Gideons’ cause. As for how the Bibles end up in the hotel rooms, the Gideons will ceremoniously present a Bible to a hotel manager upon the opening of a new hotel. They then provide more than enough Bibles for each hotel room, to be distributed by the hotel staff. The Gideons will also provide replacements for Bibles that are worn or “missing”—the Gideons don’t believe that any of their Bibles have ever been stolen from hotel rooms; they are simply taken by those in need, and that’s counted as a success in their mission to spread the word of the Lord.

Supposedly, it is estimated that about 25% of people who stay in hotel rooms actually read the Gideon Bible provided to them. As Gideon International estimates that each Bible has a lifespan of roughly six years, that means that each one is read by roughly 2300 people during its hotel room stay. The numbers are based on research conducted by Gideon through the hotel industry. The Bible Project has done so well that a number of other religions have started providing literature to hotels. As such, you may find a Koran or the Book of Mormon next to your Gideon Bible at your next hotel stay.

Quote of the day!

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I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.

Mario Puzo

October 15, 1920: Italian American author Mario Puzo is best known for writing The Godfather, which popularized mafia literature in America. He also wrote the original screenplay for the 1978 version of Superman.

12 of the most misinterpreted quotes

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Wordsmiths like Shakespeare and Robert Frost loved their sarcasm. But when you take comments like that out of context, they can mean the exact opposite of the author’s intention.
That hasn’t stopped us from spouting famous lines, many from classic literature, however we see fit.
We created a list of some frequently used quotes that people just don’t understand. Some came from this Quora post. Others, were added from bits and pieces of high school lit classes.

1. “I took the road less traveled.” In Robert Frost’s culturally omnipresent poem, “The Road Not Taken,” he tries to decide which of two paths he should take. He looks down one but chooses the second, “just as fair” and “worn really about the same.”
If you read the entire poem, the last stanza regales how he’ll say “with a sigh” that his decision “made all the difference.”
In reality, Frost arbitrarily chose his path, which didn’t matter in the long run. He just wants to hide his pessimism.
Of course everyone today uses the quote as evidence of “forging your own path,” “going your own way” and all those other tautologies about fate and individualism.

2. “Money is the root of all evil.” Not really. The love of money is the root of all evil, according to Timothy 6:10 from the King James Bible. 

3. “Nice guys finish last.” Nice guys actually finish seventh. Leo Durocher, nicknamed Leo the Lip, served as the field manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the height of the Giants-Dodgers rivalry. He made some comment about Mel Ott, right-fielder for the Giants, being too nice, which made the team finish in seventh place. “Baseball Digest” later reprinted the column in which his quote appeared but changed “seventh” to “last place,” according to Freakonomics blog.
Leo’s misquoted words soon became a credo for over-aggressive coaches and guys with no romantic game everywhere.

4. Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo? In most high school adaptations of Shakespeare’s well-known play, Juliet raises a hand to her furrowed brow, searching for her lover from a balcony. But “wherefore art” doesn’t mean “where.” It means “why.” Juliet questions why fate made Romeo a Montague, her family’s sworn enemy.

5. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Most attribute this insight to Voltaire. In reality, Evelyn Beatrice Hall, a writer born two hundred years later, paraphrased a quote from Voltaire’s “Treatise on Tolerance,” which begged for understanding between religions.
Still, some report the original reads, “Think for yourselves and let other enjoy the privilege to do so too.” But those words never appear in Voltaire’s essay either.

6. “Love makes the world go ’round.” The Duchess, a hideous character in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” makes this comment in passing right after she advocates beating her baby for sneezing. In context, the author meant the sweet quip sarcastically. But that didn’t stop Ashlee Simpson from making a terrible song. 

7. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.” In Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” Maria writes a letter to Malvolio, trying to convince him that another character, Olivia, loves him — dramatic, right? Maria uses the quote to appeal to Malvolio’s ego, that Olivia (the false author) cannot deny his greatness. Thanks, Sparknotes.

8. “Oh East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.” Talking heads in foreign policy sometimes use this quote as evidence that opposite sides of the globe will never see eye-to-eye. But if they read just a little farther in Rudyard Kipling’s ballad, the next lines read, “But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth/When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth.”
Essentially, world colonization will happen regardless of geo-political borders, and we should all just get along. 

9. “The Devil is in the details.” Lazy people somehow bastardized a brilliant German architect’s words to mean the exact opposite. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe really said, “God is in the details.” He’s also credited with another famous aphorism: “Less is more.” 

10. “Good fences make good neighbors.” Once again, Bobby Frost wrote a widely misunderstood poem. In “Mending Wall,” a fence separates two neighbors’ yards. Every spring, they collaborate and fix it. But in the process, they disagree on whether they need a barrier at all. Frost makes the last line of the poem ironic. These two curmudgeons simply keep their fence out of tradition, even though it means more work for them.

11. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” More than one slick love letter has included this phrase. But arguably Shakespeare’s most famous sonnet praised a man, not a woman. He actually wrote hundreds of sonnets about this guy, his dearest friend.

12. “Blood is thicker than water.” This gets uttered around awkward family photos on the mantel of nearly every home in the country. The original phrase, however, meant the opposite. An earlier proverb preached, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” In this case, “water of the womb” refers to family while “blood of the covenant” means blood shed by soldiers. So really, military bonds trump your siblings and parents.

Quote of the Day!

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Somewhere beyond the sink-hole, past the magnolia, under the live oaks, a boy and a yearling ran side by side, and were gone forever.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

August 8, 1896: Although she grew up in Washington D.C., novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings settled in rural Florida and wrote novels—including The Yearling, a Pultizer Prize winner—about its people and environs. This delighted some neighbors and enraged others. (One former friend even sued her for libel and won on an appeal.) She was born 117 years ago today.

Quote of the Day!

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I have just realized that the stakes are myself
I have no other
ransom money, nothing to break or barter but my life

Diane di Prima

August 6, 1934: Happy birthday, Diane di Prima! A poet since she was a teenager, this Brooklynite became an integral part of the Beat movement and was once arrested by the FBI under an obscenity charge. She turns 79 today.

Quote of the Day!

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Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face. But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare.

Guy de Maupassant

August 5, 1850: French author Guy de Maupassant is best known for short stories like The Necklace, which are often marked by a cruel twist of fate. He was born in France, 163 years ago today.