Sunday, July 31, 2011

Opinion Vs. Conviction

More than any other time in history we have an unlimited ability to be able speak to an audience.  Blogs, YouTube, forums, and many other mediums help to spread our message.  For years I have been labeled as opinionated (go figure).  In the past I was okay with this label because I was, and actually took pride in being so.  However being opinionated is nothing more than a big mouth that is actually discontent with everything surrounding them.

You can have an opinion of food, politics, what way to take to get to the airport, or even which cell phone is better the IPhone or Android.  Your opinions should not keep you from trying something that is new or different.  Your opinions can be many and varied.

Convictions are things that you would be willing to die for to protect or defend.  My ability to worship God and read my Bible, and to keep my wife and kids safe are both convictions I have.  You have to determine what your convictions are, but this list should be extremely small and the list should be at the top of how you run your life.

The next time you are sharing an idea in a business meeting, or you are trying to convince someone that you should go to a certain restaurant, remember, it is a conviction and not an opinion that you should die for.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011


When stewarding over God’s blessings (money) you won’t have a chance of doing it correctly if you think God has not already given you all you need.

Contentment is something that has over the years become a word synonymous with settling.  Settling though would be the complete opposite of what contentment means from a biblical perspective.

Contentment comes from the Hebrew term Ya’al which translated means, to show willingness, to undertake, or to agree or accept.  The Greek translation is Arkeo which means to be possessed of unfailing strength, to be strong, to suffice, to be enough.  In the context of Biblical contentment I will focus on the last meaning in each of the translations - to agree or accept, and to be enough.

We see throughout the entire Bible that contentment is something that man can’t sustain on his own.  Examples like Adam and Eve thirsting to be like God, the Israelites being led out of Egypt but complaining that they don’t have certain provisions, Solomon in Ecclesiastes always wanting more wealth, and Paul warning us in Philippians to be able to live on a little or a lot.  God’s heart is clear in all of these circumstances.  We need to accept that what God has given us is enough.  God does not promise us anything except His Son and eternal salvation.  We need to be content in that promise, be thankful, and turn towards the Holy Spirit for help.

That is not to say that we can’t strive for better, or earn more, but we must look at these things as blessings and not something deserved.  We can jump through many moral hoops to justify our means to acquiring material bobbles if we think we deserve them.  

Here are some tips to help you cultivate a content spirit daily.
  1. Begin your day by writing down what you are thankful for.  This will keep you focused on what you have and appreciate it.
  2. Cut down on your exposure to outside advertising influence. Even if it means turning down commercials, or opting out of email advertisements, you won't be continually reminded of what you supposedly are missing out on.
  3. Call or write to someone that you care about and tell them you appreciate their friendship.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Stop Being An Employee And Become A Brand

If you are wanting to revamp your personal brand and step out of the shadow of being an employee then this is the book for you.  Tom Peters doesn't mince words and paints a picture of what we should all be doing in our professional lives.  Peters says that the projects we do should be outward appearances of the passion we have for our work.  Peters lays out some guidelines though for these projects, one of which is to make sure we are taking on projects that are the very best of what we have to offer.  No matter how small a task, we should take it and make it our own in every way.  Assess your strengths, hang out with people outside of your usual comfort zone, and develop what you do as it relates to helping your customers.  

Tom can be irreverent and down right rude in some instances so beware.  Tom’s book is not for the timid, he demands that you stretch yourself in many unconventional ways.  For someone like me who has taken the safe, steady, non-rewarding path for years there were many things I needed to change based on the suggestions in Tom’s book.  If you like reading guys such as Gitomer, or Godin, you will love Peters.  I can tell that Gitomer and Godin not only studied Tom’s books but borrowed some ideas as well.   I am glad that one of my mentors recommended this book to me and I can’t wait to read some more of Tom’s work.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Review: Coming To Grips With Genesis

Occasionally I will do book reviews of the books I am reading.  I won't necessarily give a rating for the book, but if it is on my site it is a book that I would recommend.

The price tag of inserting millions of years into the Bible has been quite costly.  First, we are asked to ignore many details of the biblical test in Genesis and elsewhere in Scripture, as discussed in this volume.  Second, we must also reject, ignore, or otherwise suppress the plain teaching of Jesus and the Apostles.  Third, by incorporating “deep time” into our thinking, we undermine the Bible’s teaching on the origin of death.  Fourth, we sully the character of God by adopting a view that has no other recourse but than to affirm that the natural evil we presently observe was designed and called very good by the Creator.  Fifth, we are left with many thorny conundrums, not the least of which is this: if our omnipotent Creator’s finished work was not death-free (death even seen as “good”), then what assurance do we have that the new heavens and new earth will be death-free?  Why trust scripture on the eschaton, but not on the beginning?  No matter how sincere one’s motives are, or how unintentional the fallout, tethering deep time to Scripture ultimately undermines the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is rooted in the literal history of Genesis, and the hope of the gospel in the eternal state, where there will be no more natural or moral evil.”
This excerpt from the book Coming To Grips With Genesis highlights some of the main problems with excepting a theory of how old the earth is and that we evolved from something else.  For years Christians have tried to put the face of Darwin on God instead of out right rejecting a theory that says we are nothing more than high functioning animals.  If this were the case there would be no reason to be civil towards those that we believe are weaker than ourselves, which would create optimal conditions that Darwin laid out in the 1800s.  More importantly though is that man would once again allow the word of someone else to triumph over the Word of God.  Genesis reveals what happens when we elevate ourselves above God’s Word when Eve and Adam ate from the tree of knowledge (Chaos, death, and destruction).  Yet as sinful beings we continue to repeat the same mistakes as our forefathers did in thinking our thoughts can somehow save us, or make us superior.
Mans creation by God was called “very good” by Him, yet man was not satisfied.  God created animals which Adam was given dominion over and called it “very good”, yet man was not satisfied.  God created the sun, stars, and moon, and called it “very good”, yet man was not satisfied.  God gave man the ultimate companion/helper in Eve, yet man is not satisfied.  God gave us His Word (The Bible), and yet we are not satisfied.  God gave us His Son, yet man is not satisfied.  God gave up His Son for our sins, and man to this day is not satisfied.  This state of not being satisfied is a direct response to the events that unfolded in Genesis with man doubting God.  How sad to think that God has given us all that we have, and people are ashamed of Him, and His words in Genesis.
God does not need us to apologize for His teachings of how the earth was created.  God does not need us to put our feeble thoughts on what we think happened.  God’s Word tells us how it was all created so we don’t have to fumble around in the dark reaching for a scientifically impossible beginning.
The question is will you trust God, or will you put your faith in men that have been shown to be fallible and corrupt since Adam and Eve first doubted God.