How do Wisdom and Selling go together?

Welcome to Wisdom Selling. So if you are like me, you are always wanting to learn more. Well here is the deal about selling. It is the desire to exchange something you have, for something of more value to you. You may have an idea, a product, a service which people will want to pay for, allowing you to make a profit. You have to seek out people who might want it, and convince them it is worth the price you are charging. Or like me, you may just have a little wisdom, and are looking for someone who values it enough to want to use it. My value received in return is the joy of your feedback. So, I am selling wisdom. The cost to you, your interest. I want to help others as well. Visit the links page and shop for some good deals. Any profits on money you spend there will be used by Wisdom Selling to support non-profit businesses in developing their strategies.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Have You Ever Been Asked What You Believe In?

Recently I had the opportunity to quote for working with a new client.  He is starting a business, and plans to run it with Christian principles, making sure he focuses on customer satisfaction but at the same time presents the organization as focusing on doing things in a way that reflects his beliefs.

As part of the interviewing for working together, he asked me what my story was, how I was brought up in the church, my core beliefs, etc.  I was fascinated by the request but realized how important it was to accurately reflect these so our business arrangement could be long term and successful.

Have you ever been asked to share what you believe with someone as part of understanding who you are?  What would you say if they did ask you, or would you say it is private?  See, I am of the school of thought that we should always be willing to share our story, whether it be about our religion, our interests, family, etc.  People want to know who they are working with.  I encourage you to practice your story telling, in both written and verbal form.

Here is what I sent back, as a reference for you, and perhaps to help you understand me a bit more.

"I come from a strong Christian background with two good parents who invested in me.  I also experienced a consistent run of quality teachers and ministers at the Southern Baptist churches where I attended growing up.

I realized early on that I was a creation of God, who built us to have communion with him.  Through sin we became separated from him, and were no longer able to access the face to face walks that Adam experienced.

What I learned next is that God hates sin, and that each of us has this in us, breaking our connection to God, and putting us in jeopardy of eternal separation, since the only way to be in connection is to not have the sins on us.

While He created ways for early worshippers to reach out to him through sacrifices, He made the decision to allow us once and for all to receive a sacrifice.  He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth in the form of a man to fully experience the life of a human, with all its joys, sorrows and temptations.  He was born to a virgin and remained sinless while on earth.

He came with a purpose, and that was to die as a sacrifice, once and for all, to take our sins out of the way of our connection to God.  His death accomplished this once and for all, and His resurrection from the dead further demonstrated his overcoming the evil in the world.  God then told us through Christ, with further clarification from Paul in Romans that we can come to God through a belief in His son as our savior, and through the repentance of sins.  We turn to God and away from Sin.  I believe that I have asked Christ into my heart, and He has indwelt me with the Holy Spirit who guides me to the truth.  I believe my salvation is assured.  I also believe that my connection to God is always under attack and that I need to constantly gain wisdom, be vigilant, and repentant when I fall.

I love to learn, and spend a lot of time thinking about the mysteries of the Bible, from how we deal gracefully with sins among non-believers, to how we protect our families, to how we minister.  I write alot and blog a lot about these thoughts as I try to work out my salvation.  My wife and all four of my kids will be with me in heaven thanks to their decisions.  We are active at MountainView Baptist Church where I teach college students, play bass in the praise band, and have been interim minister of music.

I fall a lot.  Being a Christian is not easy and I find myself dealing with the challenges all the time.  Mainly these are in the areas of worry and criticism.  But I am working on it constantly, as I want my business to be one that is identified by its Christian Wisdom, and by the ethics and morals by which it is run."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A theological question for today - Is the Bible really about Right and Wrong?

So, before you jump on my case, please consider the ponderings I am having as I see more and more moral controversy in this country of ours.

In California recently, a school board determined that students need to be taught heroes of different causes that aren't currently in their history books, including handicapped persons who overcame, and homosexuals who led the civil rights cause or were heroes in the military, etc.  There is a big concern that this will promote to young children some inappropriate behaviors, as well as make more mainstream something that parents may not want taught to their children.  While the marriage amendment politics brought out the leadership of many different religions, this cause seems to be left to the evangelical Christian leadership to fight.  It does not actually look like they are prepared to do so.

My question that is arising from all this is noted in the title - is the Bible about right and wrong, or is it something even greater than this, above the petty arguments of us imperfect humans?  I covet your thoughts on this.  Here is my theory, for you to poke holes in.

I see six or seven key purposes for the Bible, as it is written.  I am sure there are many others, but for consideration, here is my list:

1. To further prove the fact that there is a creator God.  (I believe the creation proves it independently of the Bible, so the information in the Bible is for additional support to those of us who struggle to accept this fact)

2. To reveal what life is like in connection to God (we have joy, guidance, etc)

3. To explain to us what happens when we die, as we are connected to God.

4. To show us what God's expectations are for us in this connection  - (to be perfect, to help others see how great it is to be connected to God)

5. To show us what breaks this connection (Imperfection - we call this sin, and it encompasses a tremendous number of actions or thoughts that we choose of our free will to do, which break our fellowship with God, and leave us at risk to the world)

6. To show us how to restore this connection once and for all (as well as to deal with those times when we temporarily break the fellowship)

7. To show us the consequences of living outside of this connection, now and in the future.

There are lots of ways to think about this, but in summary a relationship with God is better than anything else we will ever experience, but we have difficulty making and keeping this relationship intact because of the sins that are common to us all.  The Bible explains and demonstrates these sins for us so we can understand what not to do, in order to keep our relationship pure.

In the old testament, without the Holy Spirit as a guide, He used Moses to deliver a series of rules to follow to keep the relationship intact, while also providing achievable actions for restoring broken fellowship, so the benefits of being in God's will could be experienced.

In the new testament, Jesus Christ comes into the world and demonstrates for us the very personal nature of our relationship with God.  He described behaviors that pleased God as well as those which broke fellowship.  He tells us that a Holy Spirit will come into us, and provide us personal guidance on how to maintain fellowship and grow in our relationship with God. 

Paul came along and helped these new Christians understand that there were still directions to follow to maintain this fellowship with God, even though Jesus became the new sacrifice, eliminating many of the old sacrifices and rules.

Now, governments have come and gone many times since the first Christians.  In some cases, a government would implement a rule of law that was very similar to Biblical rules.  This made the scriptures a legal definition of what is wrong to do in that culture.  However, this did not mean that there would never be a change.  As people began to explore the freedoms that come from the rule of the governed, the realization came about that laws could be changed at the will of the majority.

We experience this today, as polls and surveys are used to justify changes to laws, whether in agreement with scripture or not.  Christians in turn, fight back by positioning the Bible as an authority on right and wrong to a culture that does not even acknowledge that God exists in many cases. In other cases, they recognize His existence but do not let that fact influence their decisions.  These new decisions are made on the relative situations of the moment, political winds and popular views of the enlightened.

The bottom line of this long winded discussion is this.  The Bible is a book that deals with a relationship with our creator, God.  It is not a legal document in our current culture.  If we do not see the value of being in fellowship with God, and the joy of understanding wisdom, feeling fulfilled and happy in a very sad culture, we are certainly not going to be drawn to rules more restrictive than our government requires!

We must first demonstrate and teach the value of our relationship with God, before we can show how the Bible reveals those actions that disconnect this relationship.  Otherwise we will fight a fight for morality, family values and restraint that will fall on deaf ears.

Please help me work through these thoughts!!!!!!!!

Wisdom thoughts from an historical figure!

Charles Spurgeon: "Wisdom is man's true strength; and, under its guidance, he best accomplishes the ends of his being. Wisely handling the matter of life, gives to man the richest enjoyment, and presents the noblest occupation for his powers; hence by it he finds good in the fullest sense. Without wisdom, man is as the wild ass's colt, running hither and thither, wasting strength which might be profitably employed. Wisdom is the compass by which man is to steer across the trackless waste of life; without it he is a derelict vessel, the sport of winds and waves A man must be prudent in such a world as this, or he will find no good, but be betrayed into unnumbered ills."

A friend of mine sent me this and it struck a chord with me.  Not just that I could quote a guy saying wild ass's colt, but that this picture resonates so well with me.  Think about this for a minute.  It is not just the colt that is wild, his parents are as well.  So there is not just one level of wildness, but inherited, taught and modelled behavior.  Not only this, but the colt has no idea he is wild.  He is just following the wind, and wasting alot of energy on nothing productive.

So the questions naturally arise.  Do you know what you are doing, or are you just running around wasting energy? Are you so trained and taught to be a certain way that you don't even know what wisdom looks like?  Well, now is the time to break out of that rut and become something more.  Can you recognize wisdom when you see it?  Who is around you that you can ask for guidance?  Do you need to be broken in order to submit to learning's that will change you for the better?  Are you willing?

I really like this message about wisdom from Dr. Spurgeon.  He gets right to the point.  You need to seek wisdom, be prudent and be guided by it, then you will enjoy life to the fullest.  Wisdom is not as restricting as we all may think.  Yes, it may keep us from uttering the redneck's last words - "Hey, watch this!" but even more so, it can help us do the things that bring value to the world.

I learned recently that most cattle ranchers around here buy a donkey and put them out in the field with their other animals.  The donkey just minds his own business until a coyote comes into the field, at which point the donkey becomes a killing machine, using its powerful kick to destroy the predator.

When your coyotes come will you be an ass kicker, or just be a colt running around?  Sorry for the off color comment, but couldn't resist.  I still have some colt in me I am working out!