Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy New Year! This time of year is hard, stressful, and down right difficult, while others find great celebration and fun, which camp do you fall in? I fall into both, I’m sad because I lost my father December 11th, 1998, he wanted to stay alive long enough to celebrate one more Christmas, he just couldn’t hang in there, Cancer took him quickly. Christmas was his favorite time of year, he would decorate the house, and I mean you could see the house, it was all streamers, and lights, you name it….he would go over the top every year. My Dad made Christmas supper special. So sadness enters my heart at this time of year.
On the other side, I get pretty giddy at Christmas Time, it’s a time to celebrate a great many things. This year, we are doing a traditional Ukrainian meal, no meat….ya I know : ) I’m a meat-a-tarian! I don’t think that’s a word, but it’s mine. I eat meat, it’s what I do!
I decorate the house every year, but not like my Father did, I’m more on the conservative side, but each year I like to add something new to the mix. Most importantly, this is when my kids come home to visit, there is nothing else like it, I love my boys. I hope you get to be with those that matter most to you, in the end, they are the difference makers in your life.
This time of year we celebrate the birth of Jesus, although it’s meaning has changed, the world has moved away from the significance of the scriptures. But let me share some thoughts on a few verses that share a message of hope.
Taken from the NIV version of the Bible, appropriate for this time called Christmas.
This passage and all like them, is always about Jesus, it always was, it was never about us. Everything is about Jesus. The hope of Jesus, the hope of freedom, the hope that he will change the world and lead us to a better place.
Imagine an Angel coming before you, a lowly person in stature, one of the lowest in your day, a Sheppard, that you would be chosen to learn of what was about to happen before anyone else. Imagine your confusion, imagine your fear, can you imagine what it means to have the glory of the Lord shining around you, and then to be told not to be afraid. How would such an event test your faith, to me, this moment in time, shows us what faith looks like. The shepherds didn’t run, they didn’t say we don’t believe you, they said, ” let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened”, not knowing the significance of what was about to happen. The coming of Jesus, God’s only begotten son came to be with us, imagine.
These verses revealed a number of things to me, here are a couple:
1.) God uses us all (even the lowly shepherds of our world), regardless of stature and what others think about us.
2. This is an example of how we should live in fear of God, how we should respond when the Lord sends his messengers, and when the Lord shines on us, as he does each and every day we draw breath.
These verses are about the celebration of Jesus, and the hope he brought (brings) to his people.
We aren’t ready for his birth, we aren’t ready for his return, but we should be prepared to do as he commands, without faith you have nothing.
I hope this message brings some hope at this time of year, I know I am encouraged, and can’t wait for 2014, so Merry Christmas to you!
What I believe. Has anyone asked you that question before? Have you struggled to answer it? This blog post is my attempt at answering the question of what I believe. This is not an exhaustive list but here is my list anyway:
1.) I believe there is a God
2.) I believe Jesus is Lord & Saviour
3.) I believe the Bible is the inherit word of God
4.) I believe we all were created
5.) I believe we were designed for a purpose here on earth
6.) I believe you are special
7.) I believe you have something to offer…always
8.) I believe we are all sinners
9.) I believe its harder to do the right thing and it’s never convenient
10.) I believe human evil comes from humans
11.) I believe hunger can be a thing of the past
12.) I believe we don’t treat one another very well, we kill each other, come on!
13.) I believe marriage should be between a man & a woman
14.) I believe we give money too much power over our lives
15.) I believe that when you do what you were meant & designed to do, you make the world a better place
16.) I believe the future does not belong to us
17.) I believe we lie to protect ourselves from the truth
18.) I believe we are stewart’s of the planet, not owners of it
19.) I believe Baseball is the greatest sport in the world
20.) I believe chocolate is over rated 😉
21.) I believe we are to serve on another
22.) I believe we should treat each other the same way in which you wish to be treated
23.) I believe we should respect each other
24.) I believe we don’t have to like each other, but we should care enough to love each other
25.) I believe we should always help each other
26.) I believe in the 90/10 rule – give away 90% and charge for 10%
27.) I believe in the Open & Free Business Model
28.) I believe the Internet is the door way to the future of business
29.) I believe in honesty
30.) I believe in love
31.) I believe we should keep life simple, because simple is hard enough
32.) I believe life was never meant to be easy, it was meant to challenge us
33.) I believe we can always learn from each other
34.) I believe in the value of a human life
35.) I believe the world needs more and better leaders, so step up
36.) I believe technology is driving us indoors and away from each others face-to-face moments
37.) I believe technology is leading us to an unhealthy place
38.) I believe technology can also be used for good
39.) I believe swearing is rude and degrading
40.) I believe porn is a lie and unhealthy, it makes us believe that’s how sex should be…NOT!
41.) I believe the Cloud will only serve large corporations (those providing the Cloud)
42.) I believe Silicon Valley is a trap and does not live in the real world
43.) I believe failure is the best thing that can happen to you
44.) I believe a closed mind never learns anything
45.) I believe an open mind can change the world
46.) I believe I love my wife & two sons more than I love myself
47.) I believe I have yet to be used by God, I’m being prepared
48.) I believe the Church is over-rated
49.) I believe in YOU the people, you are awesome
50.) I believe in spending less than you earn
51.) I believe we will endure a global water shortage
52.) I believe you & I will give an accounting of our actions one day
53.) I believe in steak & potatoes : )
54.) I believe High Definition TV is the best
55.) I believe we spend too much money on shoes and clothes
56.) I believe if we didn’t have clothes to wear, and we were all naked, the crime rate would not exist
57.) I believe you are loved by God, all of you
58.) I believe we can all make the world a better place by simply loving each other
59.) I believe in WordPress & Headway Themes
60.) I believe we don’t value human life
61.) I believe this list is long enough, what does your list look like?
There it is…. the question, do you have business faith? That question leads me to the very core of your fear, the fear of what it means to be Open & Free. It ultimately means, you must trust the people formerly known as consumers. How do you do that, how do you trust people you may never know on a personal level? And what does faith mean to you?
Faith is described in the dictionary, as taken from http://dictionary.reference.com:
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in god or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one’s promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
8. Christian Theology . the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.
The best description of faith (to me) is taken from the Bible: Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
I like that statement on faith for primarily one thing, it means we believe that something good is coming, something good will happen, and we want to hang on to that notion because it actually is a driving force within us.
If you didn’t have faith, why are you in business? You are in the business your in because you have hope, faith for a result better than what you have now. The Open & Free Business Model practices just that, it forces you the business owner to trust people, to have faith not only in them, but in yourself. We have a desired outcome in most everything we do, but we can’t see it physically, we do however see it as a vision, maybe what you might call a dream. My good friend Rick Rake is a dreamer, and he practices dreaming (see his Blog), he can see a better world, a better way, and a better place to be in life, and in business. He says, don’t stop dreaming! I love it, he is always forward thinking. To me, I think, the dream never dies, just the dreamer.
Business faith needs to happen on many levels, you have to risk on those levels, only you can decide what that might be. I encourage you to look deep inside and try to identify what fear is preventing you from having business faith, what is stopping you from trusting people to actually use your product/service. I would suggest to you that fear is root in a lie. Why? Because people are creatures of habit, you already know what they’re going to do and what risk they will take. It’s a calculate risk on your part! You also know, in the future (the next 3 -5 years), those very people will not be forced to do what the business world at large does today, it forces people to pay before getting any value. That’s the old model of business faith, you pay first, then they have faith.
The Open & Free Business Model requires that you have true business faith, that you have confidence in your product or service, that you would even dare to give some of those products and services away for free. This kind of business faith takes a longer span of time to see the results you have hope for, but in the long run, you will get followers of your business, you will get the attention of enough people, that will crystallize what it means to have business faith. Having an Open & Free Business Model = Business Faith.
Are you sure of what you hope for? Are you certain of what you can not see?
If you want to learn more about the Open & Free Business Model, and you live in my area, contact me to attend one of my workshops by e-mailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org