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 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

111. BE ASSERTIVE “A successful young businessman loved to buy exotic gifts for his mother on Mother’s Day, but he was running out of ideas one year when he encountered some amazing birds with the ability to dance, sing, and talk. He was so happy that he purchased two of them and couldn’t wait to ship them off to his mother. On Mother’s Day, he called her excitedly and asked, “Mother, what did you think of those birds?”

“Mmm,” she answered, “they were good.”

“Mother, you didn’t eat those birds!” he said, unable to contain his shock.

“Those birds cost five thousand dollars apiece. They could dance, they could sing, and they could talk!”

“Well,” she calmly replied, “then they should’ve said something.”

“This funny story points out how important it is for us to speak up when confronted with danger. If we see our freedoms eroding around us and are afraid to stand up for what we value, we too will ultimately end up in the stew like those birds. Most Germans did not agree with Hitler’s insane agenda, but their collective silence permitted an unimaginable human tragedy that stained world history known as the Holocaust. How might their nation’s history and our world’s history have played out differently if those who saw what was happening had taken a stand for what they believed? When rights and freedoms are not exercised, they become meaningless.”

Excerpt From: Ben Carson, M.D. “America the Beautiful.”

112. BOYS “For a number of years, I saved a single-frame cartoon drawing that showed a freckle-faced, scruffy, blond-haired boy (maybe five years old), who was barefoot, shirtless, and in cut-off jeans, walking down a dusty trail on a hot summer afternoon. That image alone captured for me what my boyhood was like. Innocent, for the most part. Easy going. A little guy kicking around in the backwoods of the Ozarks, never too far from home or from a fishing hole. But what still brings a smile to my face is that the boy in the cartoon was carrying a pair of skinny old cats, whose tails he had tied together in a crude knot. The caption at the bottom of the cartoon read “And he was bound to acquire experience rapidly.” Boyhood is meant to be like that. A discovery around every corner, abundant adventure, and rapid growth—embedded life lessons disguised as sharp-clawed cats! All men start there. Some men never leave.”

Excerpt From: Rainey, Dennis. “Stepping Up.”

113. DIFFERENCES “If two people believe the same thing about everything, one of them isn’t necessary.”

Excerpt From: Ben Carson, M.D. “America the Beautiful.”

114. CHOICES “Ron Wayne tries to get by each month by stretching his Social Security check and playing video poker at a casino in Nevada. He’s seventy-six years old, and like a lot of people these days, he’s feeling the pinch financially. It’s somewhat ironic, however, that he of all people would feel anything approaching a pinch. After all, he is one of the founders of Apple.

When Apple was formed on April 1, 1976, Wayne signed the legal papers along with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Jobs and Wozniak each held 45 percent of the stock, and Ron Wayne had the other ten. Eleven days later he sold his shares for $800. On an impulse, he decided to get out of the infant corporation. Personal computers? Well, they probably wouldn’t catch on, anyway. So Roy Wayne took the $800 sure money and got out. But if he had held on … his stock today would be worth $22 billion.”

Excerpt From: Farrar, Steve. “Real Valor.”

115. CHRISTIAN FRIENDS “Someone once wrote that our best friends are those who make us most afraid to sin. The standard of their life and conduct make us want to elevate ours. In this way, our best friends are the severest enemies of our complacency.”

Excerpt From: Byron Forrest Yawn. “What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him.”

116. CHRISTIANS IN POLITICS? It takes only three points to explain:

Point one: Politics deals with basic issues of right and wrong.

Point two: As even a glance at the Bible will show, God has plenty to say about right and wrong.

Point three: When people don’t like what God says about right and wrong (or what they think He says about right and wrong), they tend to make a god of their own ideas. Their ideologies become substitute religions. Then they’ve got a problem because God will have no other gods before Him.”

Excerpt From: Budziszewski, J. “How to Stay Christian in College.”

117. COMMITMENT In the days of naval warfare, when there was no backing out of an eminent battle, captains would charge the crew to “nail the colors to the mast” as opposed to simply hoisting the flag. The actual nailing of their banner to the mast indicated  a do or die mentality. This is the same dedication we must have with our marriages.”

–Michael Stanley

118. COURAGE  is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.”

— G. K. CHESTERTON

119. DECEIT “A man may have the tongue of an angel, and the heart of a devil.”

—John Flavel

120. DEFINING MOMENTS “Some men sailed with the wind until that decisive moment in history when events propelled them into the center of the storm.”

— From: Kennedy, John F. “Profiles in Courage”

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