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, Jim Whiddon

271. “The founding fathers of America were extremely well-educated men and great students of history, “the well fed, well bred, well read, and well wed,” as historian James McGregor Burns described them. They represented a nouveau aristocracy, not by birth as in the mother countries, but through development of their minds and talents.”

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

272. TAXES “So when Jesus says to give to God what is God’s, and to Caesar what is Caesar’s, He’s claiming that Caesar isn’t God, and that God’s authority is outside Caesar’s jurisdiction. Caesar has some legitimate claim to taxes if one participates in the Roman monetary system, but he has no claim on our ultimate allegiance. God is God. Caesar is not”

Excerpt From: James Robison & Jay W. Richards. “Indivisible.”

273. WISDOM “Some define wisdom as “seeing life from God’s point of view.” I prefer to say that wisdom is the ability to apply biblical truth to real-life Without the Bible, no one can be wise, for wisdom is the ability to see more than things as they are “under the sun.” It’s the ability to perceive how the God of heaven sees a situation and to apply His divine wisdom to it.”

Excerpt From: Jeremiah, David. “Searching for Heaven on Earth.”

274. DECISIONS “More often than not, the ability to make good decisions is the result of making bad ones first. An insightful man once said, “It’s a wise man who makes a good second decision.”

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

275. GOD’S LOVE “Does it hurt your feelings that God doesn’t need you? Maybe you think this means He doesn’t love you. No, you have it backward. It means He loves you even better than you thought. True, I might well suspect that my wife didn’t love me if she said she didn’t need me. But that’s because human love can’t be separated from need. We love not only to fulfill the needs of other people but also to fulfill our own. And that’s all right up to a point because God made us full of needs. But His love isn’t like ours. It’s not need-love; it’s pure gift-love. Though He needs nothing from us, He pours Himself out for us. Nothing drove Him to create us, yet He did.”

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

276. FORGIVE OTHERS “THERE IS SOME GOOD IN THE WORST OF US AND SOME EVIL IN THE BEST OF US. WHEN WE DISCOVER THIS, WE ARE LESS PRONE TO HATE OUR ENEMIES.”

—Martin Luther King Jr.”

277. THE BIRTH AND THE GREAT CELESTIAL CONFLICT “Most of you probably have a Nativity scene that you take out over the holidays and place on a mantel or coffee table. Most of these scenes share a regular cast of characters: shepherds, wise men, maybe a few barnyard animals, Joseph, Mary, and, of course, the baby Jesus. Yes, ours has an angel or two and I imagine yours does as well. But that’s about as far as the supernatural gets. What is the overall mood of the scene? Don’t they all have a sort of warm, pastoral atmosphere to them, a quiet, intimate feel like the one you get when you sing Silent Night or Away in a Manger? And while that’s all very true, it is also very deceiving because it is not a full picture of what’s really going on. For that, you have to turn to Revelation 12:

“A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter . . . And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” (vv. 1–5, 7–9)

As Philip Yancey says, I have never seen this version of the story on a Christmas card. Yet it is the truer story, the rest of the picture of what was

going on that fateful night. Yancey calls the birth of Christ the Great Invasion, “a daring raid by the ruler of the forces of good into the universe’s

seat of evil.” Spiritually speaking, this is no silent night. It is D-Day. It is almost beyond my comprehension too, and yet I accept that this notion is the key to understanding Christmas and is, in fact, the touchstone of my faith. As a Christian I believe that we live in parallel worlds. One world consists of hills and lakes and barns and politicians and shepherds watching their flocks by night. The other consists of angels and sinister forces and the whole spiritual realm. The child is born, the woman escapes and the story continues like this: “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Rev. 12:17)

Behind the world and the flesh is an even more deadly enemy . . . one we rarely speak of and are even much less ready to resist. Yet this is where we live now—on the front lines of a fierce spiritual war that is to blame for most of the casualties you see around you and most of the assault against you. It’s time we prepared ourselves for it.”

Excerpt From: Eldredge, John. “Wild at Heart.”

278. HUSBAND’S SACRIFICE “One thing is certain: we are to give ourselves up [for our wives] just as Jesus did for his church. Dying to save her. Dying to rescue her. Dying to present her pure to her God. That, gentleman, is the calling of a Isn’t it interesting that the stereotype of a modern man is exactly opposite this? You’ve seen this stereotype played out on the screen. The man is all about himself. His food, his hobbies, his addictions, his deformities, and his vanities dominate his life and the lives in his family. He is one big black hole of self, a giant suck hole of self-interest.”

Excerpt From: Mansfield, Stephen. “Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men.”

279. SYNONYMS FOR FAITH “My favorite book isn’t War and Peace or Huckleberry Finn, although Huckleberry Finn is close. It’s a thesaurus. The reason is simple. There are hundreds of words, probably thousands of them listed that can capture an idea or thought and propose words to describe those thoughts or ideas with greater precision, which would add much more clarity to what I’m trying to say. Now I try to explain my faith in much the same way a thesaurus does and see if I can’t swap a word that is used far too much for another that might add more meaning, more life.”

Excerpt From: Goff, Bob. “Love Does.”

280. SLOW AND STEADY “When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens—and when it happens, it lasts.”

Excerpt From: Wooden, John. “Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and reflections On and Off the Court.”

 

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