The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year. I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, J. Whiddon
- GOD’S MERCIES “For alas! we judge by sense and appearance, and do not consider that God’s heart may be towards us while the hand of His providence seems to be against us. If things continue as they are, we think our prayers are lost and our hopes perished from the LORD. Much more when things grow worse and worse and our darkness and trouble increase, as usually they do just before the break of day and change of our condition, then we conclude God is angry with our prayers. See Gideon’s reply (Judges 6:13). This even staggered a Moses’ faith (Exodus 5:22, 23). O what groundless jealousies and suspicions of God are found at such times in the hearts of His own children (Job 9:16, 17; Psalm 77:7-9)!
But this is our great evil, and to prevent it in future trials, I offer a few proper considerations in the case.
The delay of your mercies is really for your advantage. You read, ‘and therefore will the LORD wait that he may be gracious’ (Isaiah 30:18). What is that? Why, it is nothing else but the time of His preparation of mercies for you, and your hearts for mercy, that so you may have it with the greatest advantage of comfort. The foolish child would pluck the apple while it is green; but when it is ripe, it drops of its own accord and is more pleasant and wholesome.”
Excerpt From: Flavel, John. “The Mystery of Providence.”
- DOUBT “There is an isolating element to unexpressed doubt as well. When a person feels as though church is not a safe place to be honest, he or she feels compelled to pretend, to put on a show, which all too often results in a faith that is no more than skin deep. When young believers hang back, holding their doubts, concerns, and disillusionments in private, they cut themselves off from leaders and peers who might help them deal with their doubts in a constructive, faith-building way.
We cannot solve doubt like a puzzle but we can create communities that hold doubt and faith in proper balance. God is not afraid of human doubts. “Doubting Thomas” is remembered for his unbelief, yet in his mercy, Christ allowed Thomas to renew his faith when the risen Lord displayed the evidence of his crucifixion and resurrection. King David is called a man after God’s heart, even though many of his psalms questioned God’s intentions toward and provision for him—many times in raw, angry language that leaves very little emotion unexpressed. Job too voiced his doubts and disillusionment in very strong terms.
We need communities where it is safe for people to talk about their deepest, darkest concerns, where expressing uncertainty is not seen as abnormal or apostate.”
Excerpt From: Kinnaman, David. “You Lost Me.”
- BIZ SKILLS CRITICAL ANY PROFESSION “How do you choose the doctors, lawyers, plumbers, and car mechanics that you need in your life? You seldom select them on the basis of their technical knowledge or their academic qualifications. Here is the shocking truth: You actually choose them on the basis of their business skills. How they build their practices, how they market themselves, how they develop their reputations, and how they establish themselves in the communities of people in which they move, all of this determines their success.”
Excerpt From: Rabbi Daniel Lapin. “Thou Shall Prosper.”
- CRONY CAPITALISM? A convenience store needed to replace the fence on the back of the property so the owner called three contractors in to bid on it. When they arrived he noticed each vehicle was from a different state. He didn’t think anything of it and took them around back to make a bid. First to step up was the Florida contractor. He took out his tape measure and pencil, did some measuring and said, ”Well I figure the job will run about $900. $400 for materials, $400 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” Next was the Texas contractor. He also took out his tape measure and pencil, did some quick figuring and said, ”Looks like I can do this job for $700. $300 for materials, $300 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” Without so much as moving, the New York contractor said, ”$2,700.” The guard, incredulous, looked at him and said, ”You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?” ”Easy,” he said. ”$1,000 for me, $1,000 for you, and we hire the guy from Texas.” (Haha.com)
- TOUGH PREACHER! “The old evangelist Bud Robinson is reported to have prayed the following prayer each day: “O Lord, give me a backbone as big as a saw log and ribs like the sleepers under the church floor. Put iron shoes on my feet and galvanized breeches on my body. Give me a rhinoceros hide for skin and hang up a wagon-load of determination in the gable-end of my soul. Help me to sign the contract to fight the devil as long as I’ve got a tooth—and then gum him until I die.” – Michael Hodgin