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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, J. Whiddon

411. GOLF “Golf,” says Alistair Cooke, “is an open exhibition of overweening ambition, courage deflated by stupidity, skill scoured by a whiff of arrogance.”

Someone once said that golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle.”

Excerpt From: Harvey, Dave. “Rescuing Ambition.”


“Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand.” — Bodie Thoene

“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”– John F. Kennedy

“A half-truth is a whole lie.” — Yiddish Proverb

“The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.” — Unknown

“The most prominent place in hell is reserved for those who are neutral on the great issues of life.” — Billy Graham

413. BEARING ARMS “When Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants.”


According to the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, “a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Having fled persecution, the Puritans required every family to own a gun, carry it in public, and train children in its use. In 1619, Virginia required everyone to bear arms. Connecticut law in 1650 required every male above the age of sixteen to possess “a good musket or other gun, fit for service.”

Excerpt From: Lee, Richard. “In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional.”

414. CONVERSATION: IS WAR WRONG? May war be waged only in self-defense’?

No, a criterion like that would make it wrong to come to the aid of your neighbor. I mean criteria like public authority, just cause, and right intention.”

“What do those mean?”

“The first one means that only legitimate governments may wage war, not vigilantes or terrorists. The second one means that war may be waged only to save innocent life, to make sure people can live decently, or to protect their natural rights. The third one means your just cause has to be your actual motive for going to war.”

“The next three criteria are probability of success, comparative justice, and proportionality.”

“Comparative justice means that the evils you’re fighting against have to be bad enough to justify killing, and proportionality means you need good reason to believe the war will quench more evil than it causes.”

Excerpt From: Budziszewski, J. “Ask Me Anything.”

415. POSTING “It doesn’t matter how big or small our following; we can turn Facebook and Twitter into outposts for our glory. Or—and this is more my struggle—we can fear what others will think if we don’t show up for hours, days, or weeks. We don’t want to disappoint hundreds or thousands of people we’ve never met, so we work all night and ruin the evening of the few people who depend on us every day.”

Excerpt From: DeYoung, Kevin. “Crazy Busy.”

416. BEST TEACHERS “For all the skill that teaching involves, you ultimately only have a single tool: your entire life as you have lived it up until the moment you walk into class. “The teacher, that professional amateur,” said the critic Leslie Fiedler, “teaches not so much his subject as himself.” He provides a model, he went on, “of one in whom what seemed dead, mere print on the page, becomes living, a way of life.” I developed a rule of thumb in graduate school. If a professor didn’t mention something personal at least a single time—a reference to a child, an anecdote about a colleague—then it was a pretty good bet that I had nothing to learn from him.”

Excerpt From: Deresiewicz, William. “Excellent Sheep.”

417. VALUE OF CHRISTIANITY  “If you think the mere carrying of your body to a certain building, at certain times, on a certain day in the week, will make you a Christian, and prepare you to meet God, I tell you flatly you are miserably deceived. All services without heart-service are unprofitable and vain. They only are true worshipers who “Worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4:23).

Satan will try hard to fill your minds with arguments against the practices of Christianity. He will draw your attention to the numbers of persons who use them and are no better for the using. “See there,” he will whisper, “do you not observe that those who go to church are no better than those who stay away?” But do not let this move you. It is never fair to argue against a thing because it is improperly used. It does not follow that the practices of Christianity can do no good because many do them and get no good from them. Medicine is not to be despised because many take it and do not recover their health. No man would think of giving up eating, and drinking because others choose to eat and drink improperly, and so make themselves sick. The value of the practices of Christianity, like other things, depends, in a great measure, on the manner and spirit in which we use them.

Excerpt From: J. C. Ryle. “Thoughts For Young Men.”

418. A MISTAKE An opportunity to begin again more intelligently. — Henry Ford 419. MASCULINITY  “Joe had a catchy way of summarizing our cultural progression of false masculinity—from ball field to bedroom to billfold.

As a young boy, I’ m going to compare my athletic ability to yours and compete for whatever attention that brings. When I get older, I’m going to compare my girlfriend to yours and compete for whatever status I can acquire by being with the prettiest or the coolest or the best girl I can get. Ultimately, as adults, we compare bank accounts and job titles, houses and cars, and we compete for the amount of security and power that those represent. We will even compare our children and compete for some sense of fatherhood and significance attached to their achievements.

We compare, we compete. That’s all we ever do. It leaves most men feeling isolated and alone. And it destroys any concept of community.”

Joe cited a staggering statistic from a study he had once read about: The typical male over the age of thirty-five has what psychologists would say is less than one genuine friend, not even one person, on average, with whom he can reveal his true self and share his deepest, most intimate thoughts.”

Excerpt From: Marx, Jeffrey. “Season of Life.”

420. ADVERSITY “The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are stronger at the broken places,”

— Earnest Hemingway, “Farewell to Arms”

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