The Wisdom Chronicle

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The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year in all genres. Each week, I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, Jim Whiddon

71. TRADING UP “The cool thing about taking Jesus up on His offer is that whatever controls you doesn’t anymore. People who used to be obsessed about becoming famous no longer care whether anybody knows their name. People who used to want power are willing to serve. People who used to chase money freely give it away. People who used to beg others for acceptance are now strong enough to give love. When we get our security from Christ, we no longer have to look for it in the world, and that’s a pretty good trade.”

Excerpt From: Goff, Bob. “Love Does.”

72. POWER CORRUPTS “Because power corrupts, humanity’s need for those in power to be of high character increases as the importance of the position of leadership increases. We are discussing character, correct? Not intelligence. Some of the most intelligent leaders in history have brought disaster to their nations because intelligence is powerless to modify character. Great leadership is a product of great character. And this is why character matters.”

Excerpt From: Andrews, Andy. “How Do You Kill 11 Million People?.”

73. BE A LENDER “Jews always viewed putting one’s capital at risk to enable someone else to make a profit as an honorable way to earn a living and to help others. The Jewish hierarchy of charity regards lending someone money to go into business as more noble than simply giving him the money. The latter condemns the recipient to be a beggar without enough self respect to launch his or her own enterprise. However, lending money to a needy man elevates him into an independent businessman. This way his dignity is preserved, and he retains the psychological self image so necessary to conducting business successfully.”

Excerpt From: Rabbi Daniel Lapin. “Thou Shall Prosper.”

74. BIBLE Another thing that’s so good it’s scary is His Word. Take a look at what Hebrews 4:12 says about it: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Can you say that about any other book?”

Excerpt From: Budziszewski, J. “How to Stay Christian in College.”

75. BOOKS “All great books point out the emerging truth in a way that allows us to stop overlooking it.”

Excerpt From: Simmons, Annette. “The Story Factor.”

76. BOYS “The growing achievement gap between boys and girls today. “By almost every benchmark, boys across the nation and in every demographic group are falling behind,” wrote Peg Tyre. “In elementary school, boys are two times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with learning disabilities and twice as likely to be placed in special-education classes. High-school boys are losing ground to girls on standardized writing tests.” According to the American Council on Education, young men now represent only 43 percent of college undergraduates, with women comprising nearly 60 percent. Making the problem even larger is the number of boys growing up with fathers who are physically present but emotionally distant and uninvolved.”

Excerpt From: Rainey, Dennis. “Stepping Up.”

77. BUSINESS BAD GUYS ? “In his book Hollywood vs. America, Michael Medved wrote that prior to 1965, television shows portrayed businessmen as good guys twice as often as bad guys. This ratio was reversed in the 1970s, when audiences were treated to two business villains for every good guy. “As a group, corporate types commit more murders on TV than any other occupational category—even career criminals.”

Excerpt From: Rabbi Daniel Lapin. “Thou Shall Prosper.”

78. INVESTING PER THE BIBLE: “Solomon was one of the richest men in history, and his legendary wisdom encompassed money management. To this day, some of the best financial advice ever written is contained in the book of Proverbs. And here, in this passage in Ecclesiastes, we see the invention and advancement of the widely lauded strategy of financial diversification.

Notice verse 1: “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” This is one of the most quoted verses in Ecclesiastes, but what does it mean?

As it happens, Solomon had quite a fleet of ships. “King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom” (1 Kings 9:26).

The next chapter talks about ships transporting gold, precious stones, and expensive woods (1 Kings 10:11). We read of his traveling merchants, his income from international trade, and of yet more ships bringing in the wealth of the world, including “gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys” (verses 15, 22).

Then as now, one of the main trade commodities was grain. The merchants of Solomon’s day would load their grain ships and send them off. The Israelites were “casting” [their] bread upon the water.” But notice that with Solomon, the word is plural: “cast your bread on the waters.” In other words, don’t put all your grain in one ship. Put your wheat in several ships, and send it out in a diversified way so that if one of the ships should sink, you’ll not be ruined.

Grandma called this not putting all your eggs in one basket; we call it diversifying our portfolio. Solomon is telling us that since life is so uncertain, we should spread out our investments. In fact, he goes so far as to recommend that we diversify using seven or eight different places. Look at Ecclesiastes 11:2: “Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth.”

That is God’s counsel regarding our financial investments. Spread them out because life is uncertain.”

Excerpt From: Jeremiah, David. “Searching for Heaven on Earth.”

79. CAREER The most frequent conundrum upper middle-class couples find themselves in: They went and got their priorities caught in success. “What is work anyway? It’s not who I am. I may be a salesman, doctor, or teacher, but that is just a means to an end. It’s what I do. Who I am is a husband and dad saved by grace. One simply provides the opportunity to do the other. When we confuse the means and the end we inevitably fall off one of these two edges—a want of meaning or a misplaced identity. If my greater desire is to be successful rather than faithful, I’m in trouble. It’s the greater reality that keeps the other in proper perspective.”

Excerpt From: Byron Forrest Yawn. “What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him.”

80. CHILDREN “Philosopher James K. A. Smith encourages parents with this poignant observation: “[Your children are] going to break your heart. Somehow. Somewhere. Maybe more than once. To become a parent is to promise you’ll love prodigals.”

Excerpt From: Kinnaman, David. “You Lost Me.”

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