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
- HOW WOULD YOU DO? “In my visits to Russia, particularly in the years immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall, I came across people who had suffered detention in the Soviet Gulag. The first such man I met had spent several years detained in a Siberian labour camp for the crime of teaching children from the Bible. He described to me that he had seen things that no man should ever have to see. I listened, thinking how little I really knew about life, and wondering how I would have fared under his circumstances. As if he had read my thoughts, he suddenly said: “You couldn’t cope with that, could you?” Embarrassed, I stumbled out something like: “No, I am sure you are right.” He then grinned and said: “Nor could I! I was a man who fainted at the sight of his own blood, let alone that of others. But what I discovered in the camp was this: God does not help us to face theoretical situations but real ones. Like you, I couldn’t imagine how one could cope in the Gulag. But once there I found that God met me, exactly as Jesus had promised his disciples when he was preparing them for victimization and persecution.”
What Jesus said is of immense importance:
“Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:17–20.)
“Of course, Jesus did not mean that his disciples were to face every situation unprepared. Jesus is speaking of situations where believers are threatened by court appearances, persecution, or worse, and have no opportunity to make special preparation. He promises to give them the courage and the wisdom to say the right thing. That promise means much to believers in many parts of the world today.
The cost of resisting idolatry is high. But it does not compare with the cost of rejecting God
Excerpt From: John C. Lennox. “Against the Flow.”
- BIRTH OF PC “Once there was no longer anything singularly precious about Socrates, Beethoven, or sliced bread, once these underpinnings that supported the Western hierachy of cultures buckled, the leveling impact of cultural relativism became the order of the day.
Amid a purposeful blur of cultural perspectives—among which only the anti-Western is deemed superior—the principles of multiculturalism have flourished and spread, undermining both our attachment to and confidence in Western culture across the land. Hence, Columbus’s remarkable voyage of discovery to the western hemisphere is taught to fourth-graders through the eyes of a mocking West Indian girl (Chevy Chase, Maryland); the father of our country is deconstructed into a slaveholder unfit to name elementary schools after (New Orleans),8 or hang portraits of in government offices (Brooklyn)9; and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the National Museum of American History showcases permanent exhibitions that emphasize American slavery, slaughter, and strife. (Just next door, interestingly enough, a permanent exhibition at the Natural History Museum called African Voices omits mention of African slavery, slaughter, and strife.)”
Excerpt From: West, Diana. “The Death of the Grown-Up.”
- UNSEEN “We habitually think of the visible world as real and doubt the reality of any other. We do not deny the existence of the spiritual world but we doubt that it is real in the accepted meaning of the word.
The world of sense intrudes upon our attention day and night for the whole of our lifetime. It is clamorous, insistent and self-demonstrating. It does not appeal to our faith; it is here, assaulting our five senses, demanding to be accepted as real and final. But sin has so clouded the lenses of our hearts that we cannot see that other reality, the City of God, shining around us. The world of sense triumphs. The visible becomes the enemy of the invisible; the temporal, of the eternal. That is the curse inherited by every member of Adam’s tragic race.
At the root of the Christian life lies belief in the invisible. The object of the Christian’s faith is unseen reality.
We must shift our focus from the seen to the unseen.”
Excerpt From: A. W. Tozer. “The Pursuit of God.”
- POWERFUL LIFE “May you live in such a way that your death is just the beginning of your life.”
— Max Lucado
- CHARACTER “A society can survive the collapse of its economy, but not of its citizens’ morality. An America that emphasized character development in its public and private spheres was able to survive the poverty of the Great Depression. A vastly wealthier America that neglects character development is steadily sinking. And this neglect can be attributed in large part to the widespread belief that people are basically good and the destructive beliefs that accompany it.” Excerpt From: Prager, Dennis. “Think a Second Time.”
- CHILD’S UNDERSTANDING
– The fifth commandment is: Humor thy father and mother.
– Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night
– Mary was the mother of Jesus, and sang the Magna Carta.
– Salome was a woman who danced naked in front of Harrods.
– Holy acrimony is another name for marriage.
– Christians can have only one wife. This is called monotony.
– The First Commandment: Eve told Adam to eat the apple.
– It is sometimes difficult to hear what is being said in church because the agnostics are so terrible.”
Excerpt From: Hodgin, Michael. “1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking.”
- CONVICTION “When Hernando Cortez landed at Veracruz, Mexico, on April 21, 1519, he ordered the ships in his fleet to be burned. His reason? His goal—his conviction—was to conquer Mexico for Spain. He knew he and his men would face many obstacles. They would be forced to confront Aztec, Cuban, and Mayan warriors. As long as there were ships to retreat to, retreat would remain an option. But retreat wasn’t an option for Cortez. His conviction, and his decision to burn the ships, eliminated at least one option. That symbolic gesture rallied his troops to focus all their resources on achieving victory. In an amazingly short amount of time, Mexico was theirs.”
Excerpt From: Stanley, Andy. “When Work and Family Collide.”
- FEAR GOD “The most common Old Testament word for fear means “to stand before God with reverence and respect.” The most common New Testament word for fear is closely akin to this. It speaks of a reverential awe that becomes the controlling motivation of our lives.”
Excerpt From: O. S. Hawkins. “The Joshua Code.”
- CHOICES “In one minute Instagram users post 216,000 new photos and YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video. You read that right—every minute we have 72 more hours of video to choose from. Spotify allows us to choose from among more than 20 million songs and iTunes Radio has more than 27 million. There are almost 1 billion websites. It’s no wonder teens believe they deserve choices!”
Excerpt From: Koch, Kathy. “Screens and Teens.”
- TECH AT NIGHT “Fatigue can be a very real side effect of too much screen time. Because technology too often distracts them while studying, kids stay up later to get work finished. Also, too many are sleeping with their phones and waking with every incoming text. Others are gaming in the middle of the night. Two-thirds of eleven- to seventeen-year-olds take their tablet, smartphone, or laptop to bed and talk to friends online, play games, and watch films. Only a third does homework on the devices.mOur internal light cues and sleep-inducing hormones are influenced by the glowing lights emitted by screens. When the lights are bright, the brain can even be tricked to think it’s daytime.”
Excerpt From: Koch, Kathy. “Screens and Teens.”