The Wisdom Chronicle

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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

  1. POISON IVY “At a summer religious camp for children one of the counselors was leading a discussion on the purpose God has for all of his creation. They began to find good reasons for clouds and trees and rocks and rivers and animals and just about everything else in nature. Finally, one of the children said, “If God has a good purpose for everything, then why did He create poison ivy?” The discussion leader gulped and, as he struggled with the question, one of the other children came to his rescue, saying, “The reason God made poison ivy is that He wanted us to know there are certain things we should keep our cotton-pickin’ hands off of.”

Excerpt From: Hodgin, Michael. “1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking.”

  1. IT’LL NEVER HAPPEN “Speed: “What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches?” (The Quarterly Review, 1825)

Television: “While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially, I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need not waste time dreaming.”(Lee Deforest, scientist and inventor, 1926)

Transportation: “As a means of rapid transit, aerial navigation could not begin to compete with the railroad.” (William Baxter, Jr., Popular Science, 1901)

Automobiles: “The ordinary ‘horseless carriage’ is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although its price will probably fall in the near future, it will never, of course, come into as common use as the bicycle.” (The Literary Digest, 1889)”

  1. LIVE RIGHT “So live that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.” — Unknown
  2. BALANCE “I’ve seen too many men and women cheat their families only to find that the companies they worked for weren’t nearly as loyal to them as they were to the companies.

Loyalty in the marketplace is rarely reciprocated. It’s sad when men or women are forced out of organizations they bled for to return home to the families they’ve neglected.

Why give your ultimate loyalty to an organization where your value is conditional upon your ability to perform? Why betray those whose loyalty is unconditional? Why devote so much of yourself to something you know you’ll leave, and so little time to those you’ll eventually come home to? It doesn’t make sense, does it? Yet without a conscious decision to do otherwise, that’s exactly what most of us are prone to do.”

Excerpt From: Stanley, Andy. “When Work and Family Collide.”

  1. DANIEL’S BUDDIES “God had not merely delivered the three friends from the fire – though he could have done so, as they had said earlier to Nebuchadnezzar. God had delivered them in the fire. Their suffering was real, but it all occurred before they got to the fire. The horrors that they had naturally anticipated and surely feared had not occurred.

There is an important matter of principle here. God is a great deliverer – but he will not deliver us from having to make our own decisions. This is not because he is impotent but because he wants us to be strong. The development of our character depends crucially on the fact that we make responsible decisions before God for ourselves. For God to “decide” for us would be to de-humanize us and essentially turn us into amoral robots.

When children are very small, parents often have to decide for them in order to teach them. But it is sad when we see a situation where parents have to decide for grown-up children, since that is often a sign that something has gone wrong in the development of their character.

So there is a sense in which God, precisely because he loves us, will not save us either from the need to make such decisions or from the decisions themselves. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to make up their own minds as to whether they were going to put God first. That does not mean they had no guidance. Their guidance was all the accumulated experience of God’s trustworthiness up to that fateful moment. They therefore had decided to trust him once more, no matter what it cost. Then God convincingly vindicated them.”

Excerpt From: John C. Lennox. “Against the Flow.”

  1. HOW CHANGE HALF THE WORLD? If you wrote 9 people today & each of them wrote to 9 different people tomorrow and this continued for just 10 days—you’d reach 3,486,784,401. The other 4 billion could be reached on day 11.

The modality for change is so easy – communicate. And when it is done in a personal way with a note – preferably handwritten – the influence we can have is tremendous. Go out of your way to communicate encouragement to one person a day by sending them a snail mail note, and see what life-changing things occur. [jw]

  1. REAL TRUST “Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

and  do not lean on your own understanding.” — Prov. 3:5

“With all your heart indicates that trust goes beyond intellectual assent to a deep reliance on the Lord, a settled confidence in his care and his faithfulness to his Word. Do not lean on your own understanding further explains trusting in the Lord. One’s “understanding” in Proverbs is his perception of the right course of action. The wise will govern themselves by what the Lord himself declares, and will not set their own finite and often-mistaken understanding against his.”

Excerpt From: Crossway. “ESV Study Bible.”

  1. MODERN TECH VS. YESTERYEAR “Is it really so different from when we were teens ourselves? After all, we listened to the opinions of our peers—or of celebrities we read about or saw on television. The vast difference lies in quantity! Today’s young people are coping with a deluge of widely divergent influences, while we had a much smaller circle of people influencing us, and they were probably more unified in their preferences. And the influence is nearly constant! Before there were cell phones, young people had time off from their peers—times when they were at home with just their families. Now teens are with their peers and with online influences 24/7 since they can access their social media and the Internet all day long.

Because of this large array of influences in their daily experience, today’s young people tend to be more conflicted about who they are and what they value. It’s even harder for parents to know their kids well—and for teens to benefit from the opinions and wisdom of the parents who love them because they’re listening to so many voices.”

Excerpt From: Koch, Kathy. “Screens and Teens.”

  1. RULES BRING FREEDOM “When does a train move most freely? A train is most free when it stays on the tracks that have been set out for it, not when it is trying to move through a field. The same is true with us. Like the train on its tracks, we move most freely when we have clearly defined tracks or standards by which to live.”

Excerpt From: O. S. Hawkins. “The Joshua Code.”

  1. JESUS’ PURCHASE PRICE “The word ‘redemption’ comes from agora, the Greek word for “the marketplace.” In its verb form in Revelation 5:9, the word indicates that Jesus Christ entered the marketplace and purchased us out of the market to be His very own. How much do you think you are worth to Him? What would He pay for you? Our redemption had a large price tag affixed. The cost was Christ’s own blood.”

Excerpt From: O. S. Hawkins. “The Joshua Code.”

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