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
301. UNDERSTANDING GOD “If I could fully understand His thoughts, He would be no more God than I am.”
Excerpt From: Jeremiah, David. “Searching for Heaven on Earth.”
302. WELFARE “Benjamin Franklin, wrote:
To relieve the misfortunes of our fellow creatures is concurring with the Deity; it is godlike; but, if we provide encouragement for laziness, and supports for folly, may we not be found fighting against the order of God and nature, which perhaps has appointed want and misery as the proper punishments for, and cautions against, as well as necessary consequences of, idleness and extravagance? Whenever we attempt to amend the scheme of Providence, and to interfere with the government of the world, we had need be very circumspect, lest we do more harm than good.
Excerpt From: Ben Carson, M.D. “America the Beautiful.”
303. WHO IS GOD “He doesn’t depend on anything else because He is what everything else depends on. He can’t be explained by anything else because He is what everything else must be explained by.
God is like nothing we could have imagined. We never could have imagined His holiness. We never could have imagined His love. Even if we could, we never could have imagined them together. Haven’t you noticed that when people get worked up about His holiness they sometimes forget His love, and when they get worked up about His love they sometimes forget His holiness? But that just shows that we don’t understand either the holiness or the love.”
Excerpt From: Budziszewski, J. “How to Stay Christian in College.”
304. WISDOM “I define true character as “response-ability”—the ability to respond rightly to authority and to the challenges we face in life.
A boy doesn’t know it yet, but life is hammered out on the anvil of his choices. The problem is that wisdom does not come naturally to boys. As the book of Proverbs tells us, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” (22:15). If a boy is going to step up in life, he needs an older man who will model a lifestyle of wisdom and charge him with becoming a man of character, making right choices, and acting responsibly.”
Excerpt From: Rainey, Dennis. “Stepping Up.”
305. “UNEARNED” INCOME “Just think about how easily people all accepted the label that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses for interest, dividends, and capital gains—“unearned” income. Surely this label trivializes the productive and noble process of assuming risk and investing capital. It is precisely by taking control of language that ideas can gradually be changed. It is, of course, only a short step from calling investment income unearned income to the idea that there is something unwholesome about making money through investment. It is another even shorter step to the idea that people should not be entitled to the benefits of money they acquired through investment, because it is money they did not really earn.” Excerpt From: Rabbi Daniel Lapin. “Thou Shall Prosper.”
306. WORKPLACE BALANCE “the emerging realization in the business community that thriving organizations need whole persons working for them—that anything less cheats both the individual and the firm.”
Excerpt From: Simmons, Annette. “The Story Factor.”
307. THE UNIVERSE One scientist put the size of God’s creation in this way: Hold a piece of paper and consider that it’s width represents the 92 mil miles between the earth and our sun. The NEAREST star to the earth would then be represented by a stack of papers 70 FEET high. The width of the Milky Way galaxy would then be a stock 310 MILES high. And the Milky Way is simply a speck in the big scheme of the KNOWN universe. Is the creator of such an enormous and unfathomable creation someone you want to be with or against?
308. VOCATION “In Exodus chapter 31, [we see that] spiritual gifts are not limited to what we call “ministry.” In shockingly plain language, God tells Moses that he has filled Bezalel and Oholiab “with the Spirit of God” for working in design, craftsmanship, and decoration to guide their work on the tabernacle. While their task was to create a place for the people to meet with God, their gifting was for design, not for ministry per se.
“Understanding this passage made clear to me that my calling as an architect is not secondary to work that I do in and for the local church. In fact, it may be that God wants me to be the best architect I can be even more than he wants me to teach Sunday school. This idea seemed somewhat heretical to me a few years ago, but as I have lived into it, I have come to see its truth. God has gifted and called people to be butchers and bakers and website designers. Some of that work can benefit the church, but the vast majority of it is intended to benefit the world at large, beyond the doors of the church.
It’s tremendously freeing to realize that what God has uniquely created you to do is exactly what he wants you to do—that you don’t have to spend three-fourths of your life toiling at insignificant work so you can afford to go on a mission trip. All legitimate work is significant, all of it is valuable,”
Excerpt From: Kinnaman, David. “You Lost Me.”
309. LESS IS MORE “Any successful restaurateur who has actually surveyed his patrons knows that the perfect length of a menu is two pages—one page for appetizers, soups, and salads, and one page for entrées. Anything less is considered too restrictive or uncreative. Anything more and it is assumed that there will be good dishes and bad dishes.”
Excerpt From: Luntz, Frank. “Win.”
310. CIVIL DEBATE “To discover to the world something which deeply concerns it, and of which it was previously ignorant; to prove to it that it had been mistaken on some vital point of temporal or spiritual interest, is as important a service as a human being can render to his fellow-creatures.”
Excerpt From: John Stuart Mill. “On Liberty.”