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
361. COMPANIONS “Do you ask me what kind of friends you should choose? Choose friends who will benefit your soul, friends whom you can really respect, friends whom you would like to have near you on your deathbed, friends who love the Bible, and are not afraid to speak to you about it, friends that you would not be ashamed of having at the coming of Christ, and the day of judgment. Follow the example that David sets for you: he says, “I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts” (Psalm 119:63). Remember the words of Solomon: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20). But depend on it, bad company in this life, is the sure way to procure worse company in the life to come.
Excerpt From: J. C. Ryle. “Thoughts For Young Men.”
362. GREAT LEADER DEFINITION “Someone nobody misses when they are gone.” –Unknown
363. NEVER STOP! “Sophocles completed his Oedipus trilogy at ninety. Titian painted the magnificent Christ of Pity at ninety-nine,” wrote poet Roy Addison Helton in 1939. “At seventy Franklin began the task of gaining for our struggling colonies the alliance of France. At eighty Thomas Edison was deep in research as to the possibility of producing rubber from native American plants.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem for the fiftieth anniversary of the class of 1825 at Bowdoin College. He ran through a list of older giants, like Cato who learned Greek at eighty, Chaucer penning The Canterbury Tales at sixty, and Goethe finishing Faust when “80 years were past.”
Excerpt From: Farrell, Chris. “Unretirement.”
364. OLD SCHOOL FOOTBALL (1893) “It was a time when the forward pass was still illegal, meaning there were only two ways to move the ball—running it and kicking it. Teams had three downs to make five yards, but if their field position was poor, they often chose to punt on first or second down. The reasoning was simple. Fumbles were commonplace, and the penalty for many of the rules infractions was a loss of the ball at the spot of the foul. Coupled with a scoring system that gave more value to a field goal than a touchdown, the decision to run a play close to your own goal line was a risky one.”
Excerpt From: Revsine, Dave. “The Opening Kickoff.”
365. One advantage in growing older is that you can stand for more and fall for less. –Monta Crane
366. MALE EMOTIONS “Joe told me about a common condition—known to psychologists as normative male alexithymia—that goes a long way in explaining why many men struggle with relationships. The word alexithymia has Greek roots. It means the inability to put emotions into words. As described by psychologist Ronald F. Levant, who has written extensively on masculinity: “Normative alexithymia is a predictable result of the male gender role socialization process. Specifically, it is a result of boys being socialized to restrict the expression of their vulnerable and caring/connection emotions and to be emotionally stoic.” Levant cites a significant amount of research showing that males actually begin life more emotionally expressive than females. Infant boys are more easily startled and excited, exhibit less tolerance for tension and frustration, cry sooner and more often, and change moods more rapidly than do infant girls. The socialization process takes hold with remarkable speed, though. By the age of two, boys are already showing verbal signs of tuning out and suppressing their emotions.
Excerpt From: Marx, Jeffrey. “Season of Life.”
“Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old.”
— Mary H. Waldrip
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
— John W. Whitehead, The Stealing of America
“The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.” — Vince Lombardi
368. MARRIAGE “In marriage, being the right person is as important as finding the right person.” — Wilbert Donald Gough
“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.”
— Simone Signoret
“The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.” — Robert C. Dodds
369. SELFISH AMBITION Adam and Eve’s ambition for promotion actually had the opposite effect. Detached from God, their love dwindled and their souls shrank. Their world became no bigger than themselves.
We grow small trying to be great.
The early church used a fascinating visual to describe the selfpreoccupying nature of sin: incurvatus in se. It means we “curve in on ourselves.” In the service of self, our desires boomerang. When a hardwired desire for glory is infected with incurvatus in se, noble ambitions collapse. The quest for self-glory rules the day—as it did that day in Eden. In our desire to be great, we actually shrink ourselves.
But among all the passions which mislead, endanger, and harass the mind, none is more hostile to its peace, none more blind, none more delirious than the love of distinction.”
From “Rescuing Ambition” by Dave Harvey
370. MORALITY IS CRITICAL John Adams (1735–1826) served as the second president of the United States. Read what he wrote in an October 1798 letter to the Massachusetts militia:
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Excerpt From: Lee, Richard. “In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional.”