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
- FREEDOM “Freedom was traditionally understood as the power to do what one ought to do. According to the modern view, the good life is the satisfaction of any pleasure or desire that someone freely and autonomously chooses for himself or herself. The successful person is the individual who has a life of pleasure and can obtain enough consumer goods to satisfy his or her desires. Freedom is the right to do what I want, not the power to do what I by nature ought to. Community gives way to individualism with the result that narcissism — an inordinate sense of self-love and self-centered involvement — is an accurate description of many people’s lives. If I am free to create my own moral universe and version of the good life, and there is no right or wrong answer to what I should create, then morality — indeed, everything — ultimately exists to make me happy. When a person considers abortion or physician-assisted suicide, the person’s individual rights are all that matter. Questions about virtue or one’s duty to the broader community simply do not arise.”
Excerpt From: Moreland, J.P. “Love Your God with All Your Mind.”
- REVOLUTIONS “Successful revolutions inevitably create a vacuum into which can flow a hundred forces lethal to the ideals for which the revolution was fought. Revolutions may exorcise a haunted house, only to open the door to seven demons worse than the first.
The French, Russian and Chinese revolutions are cautionary examples of this truth. Far from ordering freedom—or equality, fraternity, a classless society or any of the shining visions for which they fought—they spiraled down to demonic disorder and tyranny—often far worse than any evil they replaced.”
Excerpt From: Guinness, Os. “A Free People’s Suicide.”
- FROM C. SEIDMAN
“It takes years and years to become an overnight success.”
“Christ did not come to tell God about us. He came to tell us about God. Christ is the visible image of an invisible God.”
“We leave God because we think the only way to party is without Him. Yet God throws a party for us when we return.”
“Even though we don’t have God’s heart, He has a heart for us.”
- COMPLAINT DEPT “The Lord created the world in six days and rested on the seventh.
On the eighth day, he started to answer complaints.”
Excerpt From: Hodgin, Michael. “1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking.”
- SHEEPLE “Because of the mindlessness of our culture, people do not persuade others of their views (religious or otherwise) on the basis of argument and reason, but rather, by expressing emotional rhetoric and politically correct buzzwords. Reason has given way to rhetoric, evidence to emotion, substance to slogan, the speech writer to the makeup man, and rational authority (the right to command compliance and to be believed) to social power (the ability to coerce compliance and outward conformance). The way we reach decisions today, the manner in which we dialogue about issues, and the political correctness we see all around us are dehumanizing expressions of the anti-intellectualism in modern society when it comes to broad worldview issues. Rhetoric without reason, persuasion without argument are manipulation. Might — it is wrongly believed — makes right.”
Excerpt From: Moreland, J.P. “Love Your God with All Your Mind”
- BEAUTY “To the Greeks, the beautiful was holy, and to the Jews the holy was beautiful.” That is why the Greeks, for all their magnificent artistic and philosophical achievements—and we owe the Greeks an enormous debt—could abandon ugly and sick infants to die on hilltops. They deemed beauty more important than morality—or, more accurately, beauty was a form of morality.
One of the Holocaust’s most important lessons is that the most cultured nation in Europe produced the death camps and gas chambers.”
Excerpt From: Prager, Dennis. “Think a Second Time.”
- MONDAYS “Within one hour of experiencing negative, stress-related emotions—such as tension, sadness, or frustration—patients in a study had two to three times the risk of silent heart attacks (myocardial ischemia) compared with those who did not experience stressful emotions.
Interestingly, Monday is generally considered a highly stressful day because it involves getting back into the routine of work after a relaxing weekend. In fact, a number of studies have established a link with stress, showing that more heart attacks occur on Monday.”
Excerpt From: Kenneth Cooper, M.D., MPH & Tyler Cooper, M.D., MPH. “Start Strong, Finish Strong.”
- TRICKY “Clever eBay sellers typically start bidding at a much lower price than they expect items to fetch. This increases the number of bidders, making the item look popular. And it boosts the number of people who will at some point be the high bidder, and thus for a while feel like an item is theirs—which will make them bid longer.”
Excerpt From: Belsky, Gary. “Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them.”
- TWO-FACED In response to Stephen Douglas’s charge that he is “two-faced,” Abraham Lincoln replied, “If I had two faces do you think I would wear this one?”
- FAST CHRISTIANITY “A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar.
The tragic results of this spirit are all about us. Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit: these and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul.”
Excerpt From: A. W. Tozer. “The Pursuit of God.”
- LEADERS “When bull elephants fight, the grass always loses.” – African proverb.
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