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
- VACATIONS/FAMILY “All of us, as parents, need to establish the primacy of the parent-child relationship over peer-to-peer relationships, over academics, and over other activities. How to accomplish that?
One simple strategy is to schedule vacations just for the family. When your daughter asks whether she can bring her best friend along, the answer must be NO. If the best friend comes along, then a significant portion of time on the vacation will go to your daughter bonding with her best friend. The main purpose of the family vacation should be to strengthen the bonds between parent and child, not to give the kids an expensive playdate.
In all your arrangements for your child, try to make connecting with adults a higher priority than connecting with your child’s same-age peers or academics or after-school activities. Prioritize your extended family and your close adult friends in the life of your child. If you have the opportunity to move closer to your child’s aunts, uncles, and grandparents, do it. When you are planning a vacation, look for opportunities for your child to connect with her aunts, uncles, and grandparents. You want to give your child a different perspective. You want to connect her to your culture. That task is arguably more difficult today than at any other time in American history. Today, the default for most American kids is a primary attachment to same-age peers.”
Excerpt From: Sax, Leonard. “The Collapse of Parenting.”
- “Driving back to Portland I’d puzzle over my sudden success at selling. I’d been unable to sell encyclopedias, and I’d despised it to boot. I’d been slightly better at selling mutual funds, but I’d felt dead inside. So why was selling shoes so different? Because, I realized, it wasn’t selling. I believed in running. I believed that if people got out and ran a few miles every day, the world would be a better place, and I believed these shoes were better to run in. People, sensing my belief, wanted some of that belief for themselves.
Belief, I decided. Belief is irresistible.”
Excerpt From: Knight, Phil. “Shoe Dog.”
- TOWER OF BABEL A MYTH? “Why do people say it is mythology? Because they have bought into a false worldview, so when they read the account it is foolishness to them.
Atheists, view the majority of the Bible as mythology. Though, of course, their religion is the actual mythology, since believers know the truth because God revealed it to us in His Word. Atheism is but one form of humanism, where man is elevated to a position of being greater than God. But their arbitrary opinions really do not matter when the debate arises.
But here is the issue: Humanism dominates our culture today with its aspects of evolution, and these have now have infiltrated the minds of many Church members. As a result, many within the Church now attack Genesis (siding with atheistic humanists) and say it is mythology.
But look at the big picture. These Christians are mixing their religion with secular humanism when they appeal to aspects of this “other religion” as a greater authority than God.
Dr. Eugenie Scott is a signer of the religious document The Humanist Manifesto III, and she heads up the National Center for Science Education, a leading humanist organization for teaching evolution in public schools. She says:
“I have found that the most effective allies for evolution are people of the faith community. One clergyman with a backward collar is worth two biologists at a school board meeting any day!”
Excerpt From: Hodge, Bodie. “Tower of Babel.”
- BEN FRANKLIN, PRINTER From Benjamin Franklin’s “Apology for Printers” in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 1731:
“Printers are educated in the Belief that when Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter. Hence they cheerfully serve all contending Writers that pay them well, without regarding on which side they are of the Question in Dispute. . . .
It is likewise as unreasonable what some assert, That Printers ought not to print anything but what they approve, since if all of that Business should make such a Resolution, and abide by it, an End would thereby be put to Free Writing, and the World would afterwards have nothing to read but what happen’d to be the Opinions of Printers.” (WSJ 6-20-16)
- ALL THERE IS? “Those who believe that this life is the only reality are likely to be led to one or more of three negative conclusions about life:
1: Hedonism, If this life is all one has, then it is quite logical to live a life devoted to self-gratification.
2: Utopianism. Idealistic people who believe that this life is all there is reject hedonism. But they may embrace a far more dangerous ideology—utopianism, the desire to make heaven on earth. Hence the attraction of utopianism to so many twentieth-century radicals who have rejected Judaism and Christianity.
In light of the hells on earth that secular Utopians have produced, it is clear just how important the deferring of Utopia to a future world is. Had people like the Bolsheviks and millions of other secular radicals not tried to create heaven on earth, they would not have created hell here.
3: Despair. In light of the great physical and emotional pain that so many people experience, what is more likely to induce despondency than believing that this life is all there is? The malaise felt by so many people living in modern Western society is not traceable to material deprivation but, at least in part, to the despair induced by secularism and its belief that this world is all there is. That is why peasants with religious faith are probably happier than affluent people who have no faith (and why more affluent secularists, not the poor, are generally the ones who start radical revolutions).”
Excerpt From: Prager, Dennis. “Think a Second Time.”
- BAD NEWS CLASSIC “An Englishman went abroad, leaving his much-loved cat and servant home. While away, the man received a cablegram from the servant with the message saying, “Your cat died.” The man was most distraught both at the news and the abrupt manner it was sent. Upon returning home, he upbraided the servant for not breaking the news to him more gently. Confused, the servant asked his master how such news could have been delivered more gently. The man said he could have sent a first cable saying, “Your cat is stuck on the roof.” This could be followed the next day with the message, “Your cat fell from the roof and is doing poorly.” Later a third message could have said, “Your beloved cat has gone to his eternal reward.” Some time afterwards, the man went abroad again. While there, he received a cable from his servant saying, “Your mother is stuck on the roof.”
Excerpt From: Hodgin, Michael. “1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking.”
- FREEDOM “The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.”
Excerpt From: John Stuart Mill. “On Liberty.”
- CHINA CHRISTIANS “At the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, when the Communist party defeated the Nationalists and founded the People’s Republic of China, Christians in China numbered half a million. Yet almost seventy years later, under the Chinese govern-ment’s harsh suppression, that population has reached more than sixty million, according to Fenggang Yang, a sociologist at Purdue University. The number grows by several million each year, a phenomenon some have described as a gushing well or geyser. At this rate, by 2030, Christians in China will exceed 200 million, surpassing the United States and making China the country with the largest Christian population in the world.”
- OUR THOUGHTS/HIS THOUGHTS “Isaiah tells us God’s thoughts and God’s ways are not ours (Isa. 55:8-11). There is no doubt that His capacity is greater than ours. Also, there are things with God that are too wonderful, too majestic, too big for us to imagine. However, God has revealed Himself so that we can know His thoughts and ways. In fact, when our ways and thoughts are not His it is a sign that we are away from the Lord. When we find our thoughts and our ways are not the Lord’s we need to forsake them and return to Him. Never forget this fundamental principle; the wicked are wicked because their thoughts and ways are not the Lord’s.
The real battle between God and Satan is for our thoughts. Each wants our will. Paul describes that battle as casting down every high thing that arrays itself against God and bringing every thought into captivity to God (2Cor. 10:3-6). God has revealed His thoughts so that we will be able to know them and make them ours. God wants the victory of our will brought into submission to His will. Bringing our thoughts into the submission unto God and making His will our will reminds us of Christ. We are to have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5). People who are developing the mind of Christ are people who think like He thought. What kind of attitude did Jesus have toward the Father? Did he have the mind of God? Can we as Christians say our thoughts are His thoughts? We know the Father and Son had one mind. Christians are to be like Him. We are to value what He values (Phil. 1:9-11). We call excellent that which He calls excellent. Obedience is important, vital, but we must grow in our thinking so that we obey because His thoughts are our thoughts.” — Rickie Jenkins
- CURRENT LEADERS UNDERSTAND THIS? “Commodore Edward Preble had achieved a significant victory without firing a shot. Just as remarkable, tribute had neither been paid nor promised. Preble put it simply in writing home to Mary Deering in Maine once he had returned to Gibraltar: “An honorable peace is established.” A clear show of force, backed up by a genuine threat, had resulted in harmony between the nations.”
Excerpt From: Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger. “Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates.”