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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

431. GOSPEL “Theodoret, a Syrian bishop in the fifth century, likened the gospel to a pepper: “A pepper outwardly seems to be cold … but the person who crunches it between the teeth experiences the sensation of burning fire.” In the same way, he goes on, the gospel can appear at first like an interesting theory or philosophy. But if we take it in personally, we find it full of power.

What does its power do? It is the power of God “unto salvation” (Romans 1:16, KJV). The gospel’s power is seen in its ability to completely change minds, hearts, life orientation, our understanding of everything that happens, the way people relate to one another, and so on.”

Excerpt From: Keller, Timothy. “Romans 1-7 For You.”

432. BUCK KNIVES “While Buck knives are sold to the police and the American military, they’re most heralded in one industry: Buck knives are a near mandatory companion for hunters in our country. The Buck folding lockblade knife—Model 110—is the gold standard. And regardless of the knife company, all folding lockblades are called “buck knives.”

The Model 110’s sturdy blade, simple design, and flawless fabrication are hallmarks of Buck knives. And because the Buck family holds such confidence in the quality of the craftsmanship, they personally guarantee every Buck knife for life. Accompanying the lifetime guarantee in the box is a simple message to the new knife buyer from the Buck family “If this is your first Buck knife, “Welcome aboard.” You are now part of a very large family. We think of each one of our users as a member of the Buck Knives family. Now that you are family, you might want to know a little more about us. The fantastic growth of Buck Knives, Inc. was no accident. From the beginning, we determined to make God the Senior Partner. In a crisis, the problem was turned over to Him, and He hasn’t failed to help us with the answer. Each knife must reflect the integrity of management. If sometimes we fail on our end, because we are human, we find it imperative to do our utmost to make it right. If any of you are troubled or perplexed and looking for answers, may we invite you to look to Him, for God loves you Chuck Buck, Chairman/Owner of Buck Knives The Bucks believe that the quality of their craftsmanship is crucial to validate this message. A substandard knife would undermine the message they include in the box.”

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

433. APOLLO 11 “The first lunar landing occurred on July 20, 1969, and Buzz Aldrin was the lunar module pilot on the Apollo 11 space mission. He was also the second person to set foot on the moon, descending the module after Neil Armstrong.

Aldrin had taken with him a tiny Communion kit, given him by his church. So, that morning, he radioed, “Houston, this is Eagle. . . . I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening . . . to contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way.”

During the radio blackout, Aldrin took the Communion elements and read John 15:5: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.” Aldrin had been asked to not read the verse publicly because of the legal challenge against NASA already brought by famed atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair after the Genesis account of creation was read during the Apollo 8 mission.

Incredible! The first thing this American patriot did when he arrived on the moon was worship God!”

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

434. LOSING VS LOST Some Millinial Christians claim that the culture war is over. Christians lost. Not true. We ARE losing – but think of it in terms of France and Great Britain in 1940. France lost to the Nazis. Great Britain was definitely losing, but they kept fighting. Eventually GB won the war (and saved France too). Help came from across the sea. Even if we are losing, our job is to be faithful. Then, our Help will come as promised.

— Richard Land

435. CONVERSATION: SOCIETAL CHANGE “Historically, there have always been some people who have been afraid of growing up, but most have looked forward to it. Prolonged adolescence is an invention of recent times.”

“How recent?”

“Fifties or sixties, I’d say.”

“What made it different from the generations before it?”

“Too much free time. Too few responsibilities. Too much disposable income. Enormous high schools in which teens imitated each other instead of grown-ups. Mass higher education for people who weren’t really interested in it. Separation of the generations as families moved around to catch economic opportunities. Loss of traditions. Rise of ‘experts.’ Decline of Christian faith. Resulting loss of the eternal perspective. With that, an increasing inability to set distant goals even for this life.

The collapse of sexual mores. And with that went something else: the ancient, tacit covenant among all women. You see, once enough young women stopped holding out for marriage, the bargaining position of the ones who did hold out was undercut. As my grandmother said, ‘Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?’

The other big result of sexual laxity was that divorce rates shot up like rockets. This had all sorts of bad effects. A child idealizes his parents. If they can’t stay married, he thinks, then how could I? He may even blame himself for the divorce. And so he expects to make a mess of things, as adults always do.

Worse yet, lots of divorces mean that lots of kids grow up without dads. If a boy’s father deserts his mother, the very idea of fatherhood is diminished in his eyes. That’s a catastrophe, and I don’t just mean that he’s sad. To a small boy, his father is more than his father—he’s his vision of the future, his portrait of adult manhood. If that vision is discredited, then growing up itself is discredited.”

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

436. DEFINING MARRIAGE “Marriage is a mutual and irrevocably binding promise between the spouses to live as husband and wife, entered into in the sight of God and the community of faith who are assembled as witnesses so they can hold you to your vows.”

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

437. BLAMELESSNESS “God has promised that those who walk blamelessly will be kept safe, which gives great comfort and confidence to those in business (Proverbs 28:18). Walking blamelessly does not necessarily mean walking perfectly; we are all sinful and incapable of blameless living. It’s an issue of the heart. Our intent is to walk blamelessly and please God, to seek his counsel and apply his principles to the best of our knowledge. Our blamelessness is a result of trusting in God rather than trusting solely in our own performance. We have an Advocate who protects us.”

Excerpt From: Harris, Raymond. “The Heart of Business.”

438. THE GAUNTLET “You might have heard the phrase “throw down the gauntlet”and wondered what it meant. A “gauntlet” was an armored glove worn by medieval knights. When a knight threw his gauntlet into the arena, it was a challenge to another knight to “take up the gauntlet” and square off for a fight.”

Excerpt From: Koukl, Gregory. “Tactics.”

439. YOU ARE WELCOME “In response to a request, compare “no problem” with the ways in which people used to respond to a request: “I’ll be happy to help,” “my pleasure,” “glad to help,” or the elegant form, “it will be my pleasure.” What’s the difference between those alternatives to “no problem”? The alternatives express some form of pleasure in being able to respond to your request. When you unpack “No problem,” what people are saying is “I can do what you’ve asked because it will not unduly burden me.” “It will be my pleasure” and its informal versions are all gracious. “No problem” is not.”

Excerpt From: Murray, Charles. “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead.”

440. HUMILITY “Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.” — CS Lewis

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