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
461. ROBERT E. LEE “While his soldiers placed great confidence in his ability as a military leader, General Lee remained deeply humble: “I tremble for my country when I hear of confidence expressed in me. I know too well my weakness, that our only hope is in God.”
Excerpt From: Lee, Richard. “In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional.”
462. CONVERSATION: WHAT IS SEX FOR? “The main point of Christian sexual morality is that human nature is designed. We need to live a certain way because we’re designed to live that way.”
“Then let’s start with the heart. Do you see how every part works together toward its purpose, its function?”
“Sure. You’ve got nerves and valves and pumping chambers, all for moving blood.”
“Right. If you think about the sexual powers instead of the heart, it’s just the same. The key to understanding a design is to recognize its purposes. For the heart, the purpose is pumping blood; for the sexual powers—you tell me.”
“Think about it. Would you say pleasure is the purpose of eating?”
“No, I’d say nourishment is the purpose of eating, and pleasure is just the result.”
“If you thought pleasure was the purpose of eating, what would you do if I offered you pleasant-tasting poison?”
“And what would happen?”
“I’d get sick.”
“But if you understood that nourishment is the purpose of eating and pleasure merely the result, then what would you do if I offered you pleasant-tasting poison?”
“Refuse it and ask for food instead.”
“It’s the same with the sexual powers. Pleasure is a result of their use, but it’s not the purpose of their use. The purposes can tell you which kinds of sexual activity are good and which aren’t; by itself, pleasure can’t. The inbuilt purpose of the sexual powers is to bond a man with a woman and the other is to have and raise children.”
Excerpt From: Budziszewski, J. “Ask Me Anything.”
463. SIGNIFICANCE “Life in the end will be measured by significance, not a golf score. Significance will be defined by your character, relationships, values, virtues, and faith, not by a golf score. The book I am holding reveals that we will all stand before our Maker someday and give an account of our life. It goes on to say that all the insignificant wood, hay, and stubble of our lives will be consumed by fire, revealing the significant costly metal and precious stones that remain unscathed by fire. It looks to me like you are well on your way to a bonfire of insignificance.”
Excerpt From: David L. Cook. “Golf’s Sacred Journey.”
464. CAN’T DO IT ALL “we live as if time knew no bounds, when in fact time is much more limited than money. Wealth can be created, but no one has the ability to grow more time. As Peter Drucker observes, “The supply of time is totally inelastic. No matter how high the demand, the supply will not go up. There is no price for it and no marginal utility curve for it. Moreover, time is totally perishable and cannot be stored. Yesterday’s time is gone forever and will never come back. Time is, therefore, always in exceedingly short supply.
Time may be our scarcest and most precious resource. And we will begin to use it well only when we realize we do not have an infinite supply to use.”
Excerpt From: DeYoung, Kevin. “Crazy Busy.”
465. HOW TO LIVE “Is it better to be idle, frivolous, to live for your body, your selfishness, your lusts, and your pride, or to spend and be spent in the glorious cause of usefulness to your fellow men–to be a blessing to your country and the world, to be the friend of the prisoner and the captive, to be the spiritual father of hundreds of immortal souls in heathen lands, to be a burning and a shining light, an epistle of Christ, known and read of all men, the inspiration of every Christian heart that comes across your path? Oh, who can doubt? Who can for one moment doubt? The path of the worldly man grows darker and darker every year that he lives; the path of the Christian is like a shining light, brighter and brighter to the very end. His sun is just rising when the sun of the worldly is setting forever; his best things are all beginning to blossom and bloom forever, when those of the worldly are all slipping out of his hands, and passing away.”
Excerpt From: J. C. Ryle. “Thoughts For Young Men.”
466. MASCULINITY “Masculinity, first and foremost, ought to be defined in terms of relationships,” Joe said. “It ought to be taught in terms of the capacity to love and to be loved. If you look over your life at the end of it … life wouldn’t be measured in terms of success based on what you’ve acquired or achieved or what you own. The only thing that’s really going to matter is the relationships that you had. It’s gonna come down to this: What kind of father were you? What kind of husband were you? What kind of coach or teammate were you? What kind of son were you? What kind of brother were you? What kind of friend were you? Success comes in terms of relationships.
And I think the second criterion—the only other criterion for masculinity—is that all of us ought to have some kind of cause, some kind of purpose in our lives that’s bigger than our own individual hopes, dreams, wants, and desires. At the end of our life, we ought to be able to look back over it from our deathbed and know that somehow the world was a better place because we lived, we loved, we were other-centered, other-focused.”
“When I went out for high school football, it wasn’t about camaraderie. It wasn’t about having fun. It wasn’t being part of the school or the community. For me, it was a life-and-death issue of trying to validate my masculinity. I felt that I validated myself as a man every time I knocked you flat on your back. But I tell you, those kinds of concepts, they don’t make good husbands, they don’t make good fathers, they don’t make good sons, and they don’t make good friends. They leave boys in a tremendous sense of confusion.”
Excerpt From: Marx, Jeffrey. “Season of Life.”
467. “SENDING OUR KIDS” “Go” kind of means you just leave, you’re untethered, you break away from the moorings and just float around out there. Gilman football guys, we don’t go. We’re sent. Being sent has a whole different connotation. ‘Sent’ means you’ve got support. ‘Sent’ means you’ve got a home. ‘Sent’ means you have a purpose. ‘Sent’ means you can always come back. Being sent means people love you. It means you go out like a warrior because you’ve got something to do. And when you get it done, you come back to your home people because they’re all there waiting for you. It’s a sense of community and connectivity.”
Excerpt From: Marx, Jeffrey. “Season of Life.”
468. THE PROCESS “There’s a story about a fourteen-year-old boy who was born without a left arm. The boy told his mother that he wanted to take judo lessons. Reluctantly she enrolled him in a course. The instructor worked with the boy, and in particular, taught him one move. ‘Master this move,’ the boy was told again and again.
“The boy did as he was instructed and soon was winning matches; he qualified to compete in the final round of a major judo tournament. His opponent was a real brute who had overwhelmingly defeated his foes. Before the match, the referee pulled the instructor aside and said, ‘You’re going to get your boy killed. Even if he had two arms, he’s no competition for this guy. He’s a killer.’
“‘Don’t worry,’ the instructor said. ‘He’ll be fine.’
“The boy even told his instructor, ‘I’m going to get killed.’
“The instructor replied, ‘You just do as I taught you, and there isn’t anything to worry about.’
“The boy won the match. On the way home from the tournament, the boy said to his instructor, ‘Why did you let me go into the ring with such a strong opponent? I don’t have a left arm, and that guy could have seriously injured me. Besides, you only taught me to master one move. What made you think I could win with only one move?’
“‘There is only one defense for that move,’ the instructor said, ‘and that is for your opponent to grab your left arm.’
“Do you get the message?” Mr. Christopher asked the players.
The instructor had taught the boy to believe in the process. It won’t be the process that beats you. It will be self-doubt.
Excerpt From: Elko, Kevin. “The Pep Talk.”
469. JUDGEMENT “As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities.” — George Mason, Founding Father
470. HUMILITY “Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with.” — Reverend Peter Marshall
Free CrossExamined.org Resource
Get the first chapter of "Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case" in PDF.