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
- SOCIAL MEDIA EFFECT “Psychologists found that groups who communicate electronically deal with dissenting opinions very differently than groups who meet face-to-face. People holding dissenting opinions expressed their arguments most “frequently and persistently” when they communicated online, the researchers concluded. “At the same time, minorities received the highest level of positive attention and had the greatest influence on the private opinions of members in the majority and on the final group decision when they communicated face to face.” The fact that expressing a dissenting view in person is much harder socially, in other words, gives that opinion much more credence in the group’s deliberations. It’s the same way in other kinds of communications. The fact that anyone can e-mail us for free, if they have our address, means that people frequently and persistently e-mail us. But that simply makes us value face to face communications — and the communications of those we already know and trust — all the more.”
Excerpt From: Gladwell, Malcolm. “The Tipping Point.”
- CHRISTIAN APPAREL “Parents have to make a choice as to what is more important: pleasing their kids’ taste and sensibilities, or satisfying God’s standards as defined in the Bible,” pollster George Barna explains. “When the decision is made to keep their children happy, Christian parents are often left with a pit in their stomachs.”
Excerpt From: Bob Hutchins & Greg Stielstra. “Faith-Based Marketing.”
- BOLDNESS “Peter and John had been with Jesus. The resurrected Jesus. In the Upper Room when he walked through the wall. Standing next to Thomas when the disciple touched the wounds. On the beach when Jesus cooked the fish. Sitting at Jesus’ feet for forty days as he explained the ways of the kingdom.
They had lingered long and delightfully in the presence of the resurrected King. Awakening with him, walking with him. And because they had, silence was no longer an option. “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (v. 20).
Could you use some high-octane boldness? If you want to outlive your life, you could. As long as you are stationary, no one will complain. Dogs don’t bark at parked cars. But as soon as you accelerate—once you step out of drunkenness into sobriety, dishonesty into integrity, or lethargy into compassion—expect the yapping to begin. Expect to be criticized. Expect to be mocked. Expect to be persecuted.
So how can we prepare ourselves? Simple. Imitate the disciples. Linger long and often in the presence of Christ. Meditate on his grace. Ponder his love. Memorize his words. Gaze into his face. Talk to him. Courage comes as we live with Jesus.
Excerpt From: Lucado, Max. “Outlive Your Life.”
- DOGS “I am suspicious of people who do not like dogs, but I trust a dog when it does not like a person.” — Bill Murray
- EN-VIRONMENT VS. IN-VIRONMENT “Cuban refugees who found themselves at the bottom, when their exodus began in 1959, had children who, by 1990, earned more than $50,000 a year twice as often as white Americans. Forty years after these Cuban refugees arrived in the United States, the total revenue of Cuban American businesses was greater than the total revenue of the entire nation of Cuba. Similarly, as late as 1994, the 57 million overseas Chinese produced as much wealth as the one billion people in China.”
Excerpt From: Sowell, Thomas. “Wealth, Poverty and Politics.”
- HONK “A man’s car stalled in the heavy traffic as the light turned green. All his efforts to start the engine failed, and a chorus of honking behind him made matters worse. He finally got out of his car, walked back to the first driver, and said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to get my car started. If you’ll go up there and give it a try, I’ll stay here and blow your horn for you.” Excerpt From: Hodgin, Michael. “1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking.”
- STUFF “There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets “things” with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns “my” and “mine” look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things , and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.
Our Lord referred to this tyranny of things when He said to His disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Excerpt From: A. W. Tozer. “The Pursuit of God.”
- GOOD KIDS “The problem with regard to parents raising good children is not that most parents don’t want their children to be good people. It is that few parents actually make their child’s goodness their primary concern. Most parents are more concerned with their child’s being a brilliant student or a good athlete or a successful professional.
As parents, we clearly communicate to our children what we care about most. Unfortunately, even responsible and loving parents often fail to make it clear that they care about their children’s honesty and decency more than they care about their grades.
It is difficult to raise a good student, but it is much more difficult to raise a good person. It is a relentless job. In the long run, however, the parents of good children who are moderately successful are far happier than the parents of highly successful children who are moderately good.”
Excerpt From: Prager, Dennis. “Think a Second Time.”
- WHAT ABOUT U.S.? “In many parts of the world, particularly in the West, equality before the law is something that is now taken for granted as one of the basic human rights for citizens of a democracy. The origins of this important tradition are not so much to be found in Medo-Persia but much earlier, in Daniel’s homeland of Israel. It was a fundamental tenet of the people of Israel that everyone was subject to the law regardless of status. Through Moses God gave laws governing the behaviour of all, including the king:
“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law…. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:18–20.)”
Excerpt From: John C. Lennox. “Against the Flow.”
- A STRATEGIC DAD “He has a clear and compelling definition of masculinity and a code of conduct for being a man. He understands the importance of whatever transcendent cause he has in his life. It’s strategic fatherhood … a clear definition and understanding of what it means to be a man and how a man lives.
So it’s strategic in the sense that it’s something the father—or any man—has to actually think through. This is not something that just happens on its own.
Excerpt From: Marx, Jeffrey. “Season of Life.”