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
- LIFE’S SPAN “The [young person] hopes to live a long time, the [older person] has already done so. I already have memories, years, and life at a mature stage – all concrete things. The young only have hope for these things. But my God, what does “a long time” mean? The longest lifetime, I suppose, we take from Methuselah in the Bible. Wasn’t he supposed to have lived 969 years? But for me, any time which has a definite end to it (as life does) does not seem long-lasting, and once your end has arrived, then your past time disappears, leaving behind only your virtue and the good things you have done. These things are long-lasting; the span of your life is not. The hours, the days, months, even years pass. Past time never returns and we can’t know what future time will bring. Time is not the important thing of life. We must take as enough whatever amount of time we are given for living. To give a good performance, an actor does not have to appear in the last part of the movie: he can earn good reviews from what he does in any part of it. And neither must life be drawn out until some venerable time for the final curtain. A short time of life is enough to live well and honorably. If you do live longer, don’t complain; farmers don’t complain when the pleasantness of spring has passed, and summer and fall arrive. Spring is the time of growth, indicating the crops to come; the other seasons are designed for harvesting and gathering in the crops.”
Excerpt From: Marcus Tullius Cicero, Lance Rossi & Richard Gerberding. “How To Be Old.”
- MONEY CONFUSION “Another source of confusion in discussions of peoples’ economic differences is a failure to distinguish income from wealth.
At a practical level, raising income tax rates to make “the rich” pay their undefined “fair share” is an exercise in futility, since income taxes do not touch wealth. It is a tax on people who may be trying to accumulate wealth, but people who already have accumulations of wealth, either personally earned or from inheritance, are exempt.
Praise for billionaires who say that they are in favor of higher income tax rates is completely misplaced, when those higher tax rates will not touch their billions, even if such tax rate increases are a serious burden to other people, who are trying to get ahead and accumulate something to leave for their families after they are gone.” Excerpt From: Sowell, Thomas. “Wealth, Poverty and Politics.”
- EXERCISE “As exercise is combined with peaceful inner thoughts, including steady repetition of a word or phrase that is rooted into your deepest passions and motivations, the pull toward the exercise gets even stronger.
Medical research has established that exercise itself raises levels of biochemicals and hormones “known to serve synaptic plasticity and learning.”
So if you work out regularly, you can expect the connections in your brain to improve and your ability to learn to expand.”
Excerpt From: Kenneth Cooper, M.D., MPH & Tyler Cooper, M.D., MPH. “Start Strong, Finish Strong.”
- SECULAR WEST “No martyr’s blood is shed in the secular west. So long as the church knows her place and remains quietly at peace on her modern reservation. Let the babes pray and sing and read their Bibles, continuing steadfastly in their intellectual retardation; the church’s extinction will not come by sword or pillory, but by the quiet death of irrelevance. But let the church step off the reservation, let her penetrate once more the culture of the day and the … face of secularism will change from a benign smile to a savage snarl.”
Excerpt From: Moreland, J.P. “Love Your God with All Your Mind (15th anniversary repack).”
- CHRIS SEIDMAN
“The Lepers [Luke 17] were healed ON THE WAY to see the priests – NOT BEFORE they left. CHANGE HAPPENS as you go along.”
“God doesn’t promise us tomorrow. But He does promise us eternity.”
- LAWS DON’T CHANGE “Once a law is on the statute books it is well nigh impossible to get it repealed. Indeed, that is the whole point of having law: it should not be easy to ignore or get round.
A contemporary example of the irreversibility of a law once it has been passed is given by the landmark Roe v. Wade 1973 ruling, legalizing abortion in the United States. The name Jane Roe is a pseudonym given for her protection, but it is now well known that she is Norma McCorvey. She became a Christian twenty years later and changed her mind about abortion. But she could not get the law reversed, even though she had been the one in whose name it was drawn up.
What happened to Daniel shows us that, in the hands of unscrupulous men, what should be a strength of the law can become a weakness. It alerts us once more to the core message of the dream [of Nebuchadnezzar] – no human system of governance is perfect.”
Excerpt From: John C. Lennox. “Against the Flow.”
- PROVISION “But my God shall supply all your need’ (Philippians 4:19), and this has exactly suited the wishes of the best and wisest men, who desired no more at His hand. Wise Providence considers our condition as pilgrims and strangers, and so allots the provision that is needful for our passage home. It knows the mischievous influence of fullness and excess upon most men, though sanctified, and how apt it is to make them remiss and forgetful of God so that their heart, like the moon, suffers an eclipse when it is at the full.”
Excerpt From: Flavel, John. “The Mystery of Providence.”
- “Between visible and invisible anguish, the visible nearly always wins, even when the invisible suffering is far greater. Whenever I see a crowd of candle-holders standing vigil outside a prison where a murderer is about to be executed, I wonder why these people never do the same at the home of the murdered persons family. And then I realize that one reason is that the murder victim is invisible—as was the murder itself—while the murderer and his execution are visible. Excerpt From: Prager, Dennis. “Think a Second Time.”
- “Satan seeks to interrupt our prayers. Our battle with prayer is not entirely our fault. The devil knows the stories; he witnessed the angel in Peter’s cell and the revival in Jerusalem. He knows what happens when we pray. “Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places” (2 Cor. 10:4).
Satan is not troubled when we write books or prepare sermons, but his knobby knees tremble when we pray. Satan does not stutter or stumble when you walk through church doors or attend committee meetings. Demons aren’t flustered when you read this book. But the walls of hell shake when one person with an honest heart and faithful confession says, “Oh, God, how great thou art.”
Satan keeps you and me from prayer. He tries to position himself between us and God. But he scampers like a spooked dog when we move forward. So let’s do.
“Humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (James 4:7–8
“The LORD is close to everyone who prays to him,
to all who truly pray to him.” (Ps. 145:18)
Excerpt From: Lucado, Max. “Outlive Your Life.”
- A CAUSE “When I die, when I’m lying on my deathbed, what am I thinking?” Joe said. “Well, I’d like to be thinking that I’ve accomplished something during my time here. You know, I didn’t die with the most toys. I didn’t die with the most money. But I left something behind me. I had a cause. And my children, I know that they all learned the importance of having a cause.”
Excerpt From: Marx, Jeffrey. “Season of Life.”