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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, Jim Whiddon

291. CRITICISM “Carve praise in marble, trace criticism in the dust.” — Arabic saying.

292. FRIENDSHIP “Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travelers.”

Excerpt From: Keller, Timothy. “The Meaning of Marriage.”

293. PROVIDENCE “In his book The Mystery of Providence, John Flavel wrote of a French believer by the name of Du Moulin, who was running for his life from persecutors and climbed into an oven to hide. Within moments a spider began to weave a web over the mouth of the oven. Du Moulin’s enemies, seeing the spider’s web, never dreamed that he was inside. And thus he was delivered.”

Excerpt From: Farrar, Steve. “True Courage.”

294. FUTURE VS. PAST “There is a reason your windshield is so much bigger than your rear view mirror.” — Unknown

295. ROLE MODELS “So from the gospel stories of Jesus’ life, you get the idea that seeing a person’s life is at least as important as getting a list of lessons from that person. Yes, sermons are important, but seeing the actual life of the guy who gives the sermon might be even more powerful. And you get the idea that how you live affects others. It teaches them how to live.”

Excerpt From: Metaxas, Eric. “Seven Men.”

296. SEX ED “Twenty years ago, Dartmouth College made shocking headlines for equipping incoming college freshmen not just with everything they needed to know about sex, but rather everything they needed to engage in it. And I mean everything. Along with various examples of drugstore birth control, the freshman sex kit included an “oral dam,” a device I decided at the time I would probably prefer to avoid knowledge of, carnal or otherwise. Back then, a college setting up eighteen-year-olds for sexual experimentation seemed outrageous. Today, middle school students in Maryland learn “buying a condom is not as scary as you think.” In Wisconsin, they can pick them up for free at a “health” fair. First-graders in North Carolina get primed on homosexual marriage with King & King, a storybook about a handsome prince who spurns a run of princesses for a handsome prince of his own. New Jersey put together a sex ed kit that, among other things, gives elementary school students, the lowdown on masturbation. Kindergartners in New York learn the mechanics of AIDS transmission.

Rather than instill virtuous behaviors based on the judgment that it is “bad” to use drugs, or “bad” to engage in premarital sex, we choose to build a logical case against vice based only on the risks involved. And these we neutralize by also, logically, teaching the young to “take precautions.” It is a halfhearted argument at best for “healthy” behavior. Without making such behaviors anathema, society merely tries to talk its jaded young out of indulging in them—and for no “good” reason.”

Excerpt From: West, Diana. “The Death of the Grown-Up.”

297. RISK TO WIN “The team that makes the most mistakes usually wins.”

— Coach Piggy Lambert

298. MISSION DRIFT “Consider this mission statement of a well-known university: “To be plainly instructed and consider well that the main end of your life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ.”

Founded in 1636, this university employed exclusively Christian professors, emphasized character formation in its students above all else, and rooted all its policies and practices in a Christian worldview. This school served as a bastion of academic excellence and Christian distinction.

It’s from Harvard University—this statement described their founding mission. Harvard began as a school to equip ministers to share the Good News.”

Excerpt From: Peter Greer, Chris Horst & Anna Haggard. “Mission Drift.”

299. COACHING “You ought to coach each player like they are going to become your son-in-law.”

Excerpt From: Joe Ehrmann, Paula Ehrmann & Gregory Jordan. “InSideOut Coaching.”

300. COSMIC JOKE “When asked why he doesn’t believe in astrology, the logician Raymond Smullyan responds that he’s a Gemini, and Geminis never believe in astrology.”

Excerpt From: John Allen Paulos. “Innumeracy.”

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