The Wisdom Chronicle

Pile of books isolated on white background

The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year in all genres. Each week, I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, Jim Whiddon

101. AMERICA’S DESTINY “America has already outlived the typical two-hundred-year destiny. Nations with a godly worldview begin with a period of great prosperity as they follow God’s principles. This is followed by a period of apathy. In their apathy, they turn away from God, resulting in God’s judgment. The book of Judges illustrates this cycle. We see in Judges a description of three hundred fifty years of Israel’s going through the cycle again and again. The cycle reoccurs over seven times. Each time, after the people turned from God, He reveals what a merciful and gracious God He is. He takes them back. He heals their land. God walks with them on the road to recovery.”

Excerpt From: Hovind, Chad. “Godonomics.”

102. AMAZING DATA USAGE “Asthmapolis has attached a sensor to an asthma inhaler that tracks location via GPS; aggregating the information lets the company discern environmental triggers for asthma attacks, such as proximity to certain crops. The firms Fitbit and Jawbone let people measure their physical activity and sleep. Another company, Basis, lets wearers of its wristband monitor their vital signs, including heart rate and skin conductance, which are measures of stress. Getting the data is becoming easier and less intrusive than ever. In 2009 Apple was granted a patent for collecting data on blood oxygenation, heart rate, and body temperature through its audio earbuds. Derawi Biometrics have developed an app for smartphones that analyzes an individual’s gait while walking and uses the information as a security system to unlock the phone. Meanwhile two professors at Georgia Tech Research Institute, Robert Delano and Brian Parise, are developing a smartphone application called iTrem that uses the phone’s built-in accelerometer to monitor a person’s body tremors for Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders. The app is a boon for both doctors and patients. It allows patients to bypass costly tests done at a physician’s office; it also lets medical professionals remotely monitor people’s disability and their responses to treatments.”

Excerpt From: Viktor Mayer-Schönberger & Kenneth Cukier. “Big Data.”

103. THE STANDARD “Jesus, the God/man who died for us, could take no pleasure in making life difficult or unachievable for us. Clearly he was setting a standard to make a point—that if someone was somehow able to keep from lying, murdering, even coveting for an entire lifetime, there was no way to ever dream of following this new standard. If hatred and anger equal murder, and lust is adultery, we’re all guilty. Only Jesus could meet that standard; so we are forced to rely upon Him for our standing before God. He takes the penalty for our sin; He becomes our advocate before a holy God.”

Excerpt From: Jerry B. Jenkins. “Hedges.”

104. HANDWRITING “researchers have found that the persuasiveness of a handwritten message is influenced by the quality of the handwriting: The worse the handwriting, the less persuasive the message will be. Readers mistakenly interpret the sense of difficulty they feel when they read a message with bad handwriting as a sense of difficulty believing the content of the message.”

Excerpt From: Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin & Robert B. Cialdini. “Yes!.”

105. THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST German Workers’ Party, led by Adolf Hitler, rose to power during a time of economic uncertainty in a nation of people longing for better times. Germany was a modern, industrialized nation whose well-informed citizens enjoyed ready access to information by way of print and radio broadcast media. Hitler was a man of the common people—not long before, he had been an army lieutenant—and his speeches were exciting and passionate. He promised more and better and new and different. He vowed rapid change and swift action. According to record, what Hitler actually said in his speeches depended very much upon the audience. In agricultural areas, he pledged tax cuts for farmers and new laws to protect food prices. In working-class neighborhoods, he talked about redistribution of wealth and attacked the high profits generated by business owners. When he appeared before financiers or captains of industry, Hitler focused on his plans to destroy communism and reduce the power of the trade unions.”

Excerpt From: Andrews, Andy. “How Do You Kill 11 Million People?.”

106. IDENTITY NOT IN OUR WORK “Corporate profits and influence, stewarded wisely, are a healthy means to a good end: They are vital to creating new products to serve customers, giving an adequate return to investors for the use of their money, and paying employees well for their work. Similarly, individual compensation is an appropriate reward for one’s contributions and is necessary to provide for oneself and one’s family. But it is not our identity, our salvation, or even our source of security and comfort. The Christian worker or business leader who has experienced God’s grace—­who knows “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)—­is free to honor God, love neighbors, and serve the common good through work.”

Excerpt From: Keller, Timothy. “Every Good Endeavor.”

107. PURPOSE “To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make all conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.”

Excerpt From: Allen, James. “As a Man Thinketh.”

108. HONESTY “Honesty is a gift we can give to others. It is also a source of power and an engine of simplicity. Knowing that we will attempt to tell the truth, whatever the circumstances, leaves us with little to prepare for. Knowing that we told the truth in the past leaves us with nothing to keep track of. We can simply be ourselves in every moment.”

Excerpt From: Harris, Sam. “Lying.”

109. BAD DECISIONS  “Overconfidence is fed by the illusory certainty of hindsight.”

Excerpt From: Kahneman, Daniel. “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”

110. WHY SEVEN DAYS? “If He did not need to follow an order for physical reasons, why did He do it? He did it to illustrate how salvation advances and progresses. For example, Moses was using the creation account to explain to Israel, the first readers of this book, how God redeemed them from Egypt and took them to the border of the promised land. He took them from virtual nonexistence in Egypt and gave them life. He took them from darkness to light. He found them formless and empty and shaped them and filled them as a nation. Genesis 1–2 gave Israel more insight into the kind of Redeemer that God was and what their redemption from Egypt was like. There is much more here, however, than instruction for redeemed Israel. Jesus and his apostles used the creation theme to explain how God redeems our souls. Paul said that if any man is in Jesus, “he is a new creation.” Paul was saying, “If you want to find out what your salvation is like, go back to the creation account.”

Excerpt From: Murray, David. “Jesus on Every Page.”

 

Free CrossExamined.org Resource

Get the first chapter of "Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case" in PDF.

Powered by ConvertKit
1 reply
  1. Stephen B says:

    An interesting excerpt about Hitler. Of course, there was a lot more to it than that. Hitler also frequently referred to Jesus, to God, to doing God’s work. He was a traditionalist – he rejected new art, the Enlightenment, modernism, and intellectualism. Hitler focused very strongly on family, how women’s role was to be good mothers and housewives. And of course there was a huge focus in his speeches on Nationalism and the exceptionalism of his country.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *