Invest with optimum growth.

wendell notes logo


I publish WendellNotes for significant books I read to make their perspective available to friends and GIN subscribers who may not otherwise have time for them. Before I started writing WendellNotes in 2011, book notes were part of my Journal. [Brackets separate my comments from the author's.]

Today's lower growth rate is in many respects the result of choices that we wish to make in a rich society, from having fewer children to moving around less for work. There is a long-term shift from manufacturing (where growth has historically been high) to services (where growth has historically been lower). The scalability of intangible investments turns the economy into more of a winner-takes-all structure.

Geographic advantage will be eliminated as every city or region becomes self-sufficient. Dark ages do not occur for lack of sunshine, but for lack of leadership. Finding the balance between the yin of stability and the yang of growth was a critical factor in the success of leading civilizations. History indicates that order of magnitude improvements in technological capabilities in one or more of the 5 foundational sectors--information, energy, food, transport, and materials--have triggered cascading waves of technological improvement, creating extraordinary new possibilities across other sectors, the wider economy, and society itself. Ownership of the network confers great power--far more than supply-side economies of scale. The US had open immigration until it emerged as the world’s leading power in the 1920s.

Download this file (Rethinking Humanity.pdf)Rethinking Humanity242 kB

For most of recorded history the gods were in every land enthroned on the pinnacle of every major culture and civilization. Wherever there were people, there were gods. Then, in every place in which the gospel was received the signs of possession, individual and civilizational, would begin to disappear. If nothing is God, then anything and everything is God. One’s god is that which is one’s ultimate reality. Without God there was no more truth and no more reality. The world was God, and God was the world. Americans now serve and are mastered by the Baals of money, pleasure, success. Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands. The computer represents the most sophisticated and advanced work of man’s hands. There had been another sexual revolution. It was the revolution by which biblical sexual ethics, ideals, and morality replaced those of the pagan world. The advent of the gospel broke the goddess’s spell. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court legalized the murder of unborn children. The 50th year after New York,, legalized abortion on demand came to its conclusion in 2020. Death came to America as it had in ancient times, in the form of a plague--COVID-19. In the Jubilean year of 2022, what had taken place in 1973, Roe v. Wade, was reversed, inaugurating a turning back.

Download this file (Return of the Gods2.pdf)Return of the Gods224 kB

This inspiring story of a businessman’s ego, collapse, and recovery is replete with useful insights on managing people and life. It also includes the pivotal role played by a dear friend, Fritz Kling, who is now repeating through DeBoer Fellowship for the country of Myanmar what he did and others did through Richmond Christian Leadership Initiative,, for the city of Richmond.

Download this file (Risk Only Money2.pdf)Risk only Money172 kB

Sometimes not knowing is more valuable than knowing and a learner’s advantage kicks in. While experience provides a distinct advantage in a stable field, it can actually impede progress in an unstable or rapidly evolving arena. While truth may be eternal, knowledge is fleeting. We must learn to operate like our mobile devices, all data-processing power and negligible data storage. It is impossible to begin to learn what we think we already know. Rookie smarts—the twin powers of naïveté and chutzpah. Musk is an obsessed serial learner. Curiosity grows from a deep-seated belief that what you don’t know is more interesting than what you do know. Certainty prohibits learning, curiosity fuels change. The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. It is while striving that we feel joyful and most alive.

Download this file (Rookis Smarts.pdf)Rookie Smarts190 kB

The word saint is a noun form of the verb consecrate. The great paradox of judgment is that evil becomes fuel in the furnace of salvation. We need to know supremely these 2 subjects--God and the world. The imagination is an essential ministry in nurturing the life of faith. There is no other institution that suffers from time so much as religion. The whole labor of regenerating mankind has to begin again every generation.

Download this file (Run w t Horses.pdf)Run w t Horses.pdf135 kB

You can define the Christian life in a single word: trust. Legalists render themselves incapable of receiving grace. It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. One of the surest ways to be unhappy is to insist on being happy at all costs. We must deduce everything about God from what we know about Jesus. The humility of Jesus consisted in his enthrallment with his Father.

Download this file (Ruthless Trust.pdf)Ruthless Trust155 kB

I wanted to be well, not wealthy. How do we as humans begin to fathom His plans? By slowing ourselves to His pace until we’ve gotten neutral. To make a decision: 1. Consult your Friend Jesus. 2. Gather the facts. 3. Watch for circumstances. 4. Get neutral. I transferred the careful due diligence of my business deals to my spiritual life. Slowing down is key. I forget to go to God in my areas of giftedness. Trust is a muscle that we must exercise. I was constantly projecting into the future, envisioning success or failure. Thinking out loud with people I trust removes some of my filters so that I hear the truth more accurately. Motives are about perspective; they identify the center of our lives. Never make important decisions in a state of distress.  Work hard not to impress. If you starve the lust of the flesh, your heart will yearn to be satisfied. All the troubles in your life are really cures to the poison of your old nature.

Download this file (Sacred Pace.pdf)Sacred Pace204 kB

[This is Ravi’s last book before he died.] Both story and argument have a place. The defining difference between the claims of the biblical text and those of other faiths is that the Bible’s stories claim to be fact. Finding meaning and purpose is the fundamental pursuit of life. He conquers not in spite of our pain but through it.

Download this file (Seeing Jesus from the East.pdf)Seeing Jesus from the East209 kB

[This may be the most significant of Nee’s books I have read.] All of the disciplines of God upon us are for one purpose: the breaking of our outward man. All some see is wrong treatment or bad environment. They have no light; they do not see God’s hand. The more thoroughly we are trained and the more drastically the cross works in our lives, the more useful we will be in helping others. In whatever point we have been disciplined and broken, in that very point we are able to touch others. All who try to imitate will have one more layer of self to be broken. Take special notice of where the Lord strikes hard; that is, discover the target upon which the hand of the Lord hits. The breaking of the outward man leaves an undeniable mark on our lives in order that throughout our lives we can never forget what the hand of the Lord has done in us.

Download this file (Serve in Spirit.pdf)Serve in Spirit175 kB

The presence of righteous believers is the decisive factor in God’s dealings with a community. As kings, we rule with Him. As priests, we share His ministry of prayer and intercession. Through prayer and intercession we administer the authority that is ours in the name of Jesus. There is a delicate balance between the fulfillment of God’s purposes and the exercise of human free will. To understand this and apply it in prayer is the essence of true intercession. It will take united prayer and fasting to precipitate the final fullness of the latter rain.

Apostles, prophets, and teachers are the governmental gifts of the church. The apostle has a grace to release the other gifts and is anointed by God to think largely and incorporate all the gifts of God. The commission Jesus gave the church is apostolic. Teaching helps release the apostolic and helps develop a taste for the new wine. Apostles are spiritual architects. When believers deal with demons on a continual basis, they will mature in warfare. People respond to the supernatural.

With spiritual warfare, much of our success comes from displaying the goodness of God. Lies are the primary way evil spirits communicate with us. To shift atmospheres over regions, I make sure to operate in a group setting so we are all in one accord. When I encounter a demonic atmosphere I use the words, “I see you and I am not partnering with you. I send you back in Jesus’s name.” Discernment is the single most valuable tool relative to shifting atmospheres.

Everything depends on what teachers, parents, and students did, not how much money is spent. PISA scores are a better predictor of who will go to college than report cards. It was measuring aspiration. Finland built a system on trust in which kids achieved higher-order thinking without excessive competition or parental meddling; Without its education obsession, Korea could not have become the economic powerhouse that it is. Korea’s sky-high PISA scores are mostly a function of students’ tireless efforts. The education superpower countries found that performance was mostly a product of hard work. This attitude meant that all kids tried harder and that was more valuable to a country than gold or oil. The real innovation in Korea was their shadow education system—the after school tutoring complex . After WW2 the Finns were desperate to modernize and their leaders agreed that education was the only thing that could save their country from being left behind. They selected highly educated teachers and trained them rigorously. Accountability mandates became unnecessary and  a burden, Most Korean parents saw themselves as coaches. To work, praise must be specific, authentic, and rare. Student autonomy was a symptom of rigor. Thoroughness (in answering all the questions on a test) is more predictive of countries’ scores than socioeconomic status, class size or any other factor studied. Many countries are delaying tracking to later grades. When they do so, all kids tend to do better. Autonomy mattered as much to teachers as cash. Private schools did not add much value. The in-school variable that matters most is the teacher. The principal acts as the filter instead of the education college or the teacher certification system

Download this file (T Smartest Kids in t World.pdf)Smartest Kids in the World200 kB

The most important thing in your life is not what you do; it’s who you become. That’s what you will take into eternity. The soul never thinks without a picture. The more we focus on ourselves, the more we neglect our souls. The soul integrates the will, mind and body. Sin disintegrates them. Conviction is a God-given ache for goodness. The soul’s infinite capacity to desire is the mirror image of God’s infinite capacity to give. The unlimited neediness of the soul matches the unlimited grace of God. What the Bible calls idolatry we call addiction. The soul needs a keeper. I am my soul’s keeper, not its captain. The main thing you will give others is the person you become. Easy is a soul word, not a circumstance word. The soul was not made for an easy life. It was made for an easy yoke. The soul was made to rest in God the way a tree rests in soil. Good habits are enormously freeing--we accomplish good things almost on autopilot. Work is a soul function. A paradox of the soul is that it is incapable of satisfying itself, but incapable of living without satisfaction. Without a grateful heart the soul suffers because the soul needs gratitude.

Download this file (Soul Keeping.pdf)Soul Keeping220 kB