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, J. Whiddon

  1. ABE “A close friend of Abe Lincoln, Joshua Speed, published Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln, which includes a story from 1864 when he visited Lincoln:

When I knew [Mr. Lincoln], in early life, he was a skeptic. He had tried hard to be a believer, but his reason could not grasp and solve the great problem of redemption as taught. He was very cautious never to give expression to any thought or sentiment that would grate harshly upon a Christian’s ear. For a sincere Christian, he had great respect. . . . But this was a subject we never discussed. The only evidence I have of any change, was in the summer before he was killed. I was invited out to the Soldier’s Home to spend the night. As I entered the room, near night, he was sitting near a window intently reading his Bible. Approaching him I said, “I am glad to see you so profitably engaged.” “Yes,” said he, “I am profitably engaged.” “Well,” said I, “if you have recovered from your skepticism, I am sorry to say that I have not.” Looking me earnestly in the face and placing his hand on my shoulder, he said, “You are wrong, Speed. Take all of this book upon reason that you can, and the balance on faith, and you will live and die a happier and better man.” Excerpt From: Lee, Richard. “In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional.”

  1. STRENGTH  “The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

553. PLAN “If everything goes as planned, you don’t have a story.” –Unknown

554. WW II WEAPON “We all know that books burn—yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny of every kind. In this war, we know, books are weapons.

Excerpt From: Molly Guptill Manning. “When Books Went to War.”

  1. WARNING “A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished from its edges.” — Benjamin Franklin
  2. LEGACY Jonathan Edwards, born in 1703, was perhaps the most brilliant thinker America has ever produced. Even though he and his wife had 11 children, he invested one hour each day into their lives.

Of his known descendants:

– 300 became pastors and missionaries

– 120 became university professors

– 110 became lawyers

– 60 were prominent authors

– 30 were judges

– 13 served as presidents of colleges and universities

– 3 served inThe US Congress

– 1 became Vice President of the United States

  1. MENTORS “If you want a year of prosperity, grow grain.

If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees.

If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow people.”


  1. NEXT GENERATION “Relay races are usually won or lost in the passing of the baton. So it is with the Christian life. When members of one generation are committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are determined to finish strong, they rarely fumble the baton. But getting the handoff securely in the hands of children can be difficult and risky. That is when Christian commitments between generations can be dropped. It isn’t always the fault of the parents. Some young runners refuse to reach out and grasp the baton. Either way, there is nothing more tragic than failing to transfer the baton to those who come after.”

Excerpt From: Dobson, James. “Your Legacy.”

  1.  CLOTHING “Our culture has sacrificed the innocence of our youth on the altar of sexual glorification. It’s no longer about selling clothes; it’s more about selling our souls. We decry the way our wives and daughters are disparaged over their body images and seen as sexual objects, yet promulgate the very lifestyles and clothing lines that lead to the thing we denounce. We have become a schizophrenic society.”

Excerpt From: Battaglia, Joe. “The Politically Incorrect Jesus.”

  1. HUMILITY [Booker T.] Washington’s humility was not merely a matter of principle and theological abstraction. It was practical, working itself out in the fabric of his life, in the daily and the mundane of his existence. Once when he was staying in a Des Moines hotel, a woman guest mistook him for a porter and asked him to fetch her a drink of water. Washington was at that moment a leading educator, an internationally renowned author, an adviser to governments, and arguably the most famous black man in the world. But he didn’t hesitate. He immediately went to the hotel’s front desk to ask for the water. He felt no offense because true humility removes the sting of the common.

Excerpt From: Mansfield, Stephen. “Then Darkness Fled.”


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6 replies
  1. Christian Sanelli says:

    I love your nuggets. About Jonathan Edwards though, this “brilliant thinker” said that God is “tormenting in Hell” those that had not accepted Christ. Not that God is allowing them to be tormented in Hell, but that God is actually tormenting them in Hell.

  2. Jim Whiddon says:

    Clearly, I agree that the concept of eternal torment as described in scripture is extremely disturbing. In fact, I can’t think of anything worse to contemplate. Have you read, by any chance, Frank’s new book – “Stealing From God”? Ch. 8 is called: “God Will Not Force You into Heaven Against Your Will.” You might want to consider his work on this subject as I think it comes at the issue from an interesting and logical perspective. You should take a look. Blessings, JW

    • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

      Seems odd that you might worship a different religion and sincerely hold it to be the right one, but then you die and are told ‘You worshipped the wrong God, you’re going to hell – God won’t force you into heaven against your will, it was YOUR choice to go to hell”. I mean, you thought you WERE choosing God and heaven, but it turns out you picked the wrong God.

      Let’s turn that around – You and Frank die, find yourself in Limbo and God appears, but it’s not the Christian God, or perhaps not the exact version of the Christian God you were expecting, and He tells you that you got it wrong (regardless of whether you got it wrong in a small way or a big way, for the purpose of this hypothetical, it’s enough that you don’t make the grade).

      So you’re going to hell – would you say that it would be fair to say “God didn’t force Jim and Frank into heaven against their will – they CHOSE hell”? I don’t think that would be fair – under no reasonable definition of ‘choose’ could you be said to have chosen it. As far as you’re concerned right now you are aiming for heaven and choosing God, right? That wouldn’t be negated if it turns out some other theist’s idea of God and heaven turns out to be the right one, surely?

    • David says:

      If your doctrine is correct it seems the very act of creation was a pretty reckless one. Create man, knowing he would fall, put the forbidden tree within reach, give the serpent access to him, resulting in eternal torment for billions. And the torment has no rehabilitative or corrective purpose. It’s pure vengeance. Billions tormented forever! Makes Hitler’s holocaust look like an afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese. Not behavior that any of us would call loving in any other context.

      How do you fall in love with that? I contend that you can’t. You just convince yourself it’s beautiful because you feel you have no other choice.

      How will you enjoy your blissful eternity knowing that the god you perceive as loving is stoking the fire of hell to torment the lost?


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