Finish Strong With Fearless Faith

Renewing Wisdom in America #66

September 05, 2022 Fearless Faith Season 2 Episode 66
Finish Strong With Fearless Faith
Renewing Wisdom in America #66
Show Notes Transcript

It seems that America has lost its’ collective mind.  Cries to “Defund the Police” are growing louder even as serious crime is spiking in our major cities.  Some public schools are pushing to teach transgenderism to our young, innocent children.  Thousands of illegal aliens are pouring into our country each week bringing drug traffickers, sex offenders and possible terrorists.  Unfortunately, very little is being done to stop them. If our country is going to survive, we need not only the voice of reason, we need the voice of wisdom.  We need it NOW!!!

Dan, Terry and Brian reveal the best sources for Godly wisdom in this edition of Finish Strong.  It is found in obvious and surprising places.  It calls out to us every day if we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.  Listening to this podcast is definitely a “wise” move if you are a seeker of wisdom.

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Dan Wheeler:

Welcome to finish strong. I'm your host, Dan Wheeler. And we're going to talk today about the trend to look inward for truth. It's very dangerous, where everyone is their own authority. And that truth just comes from within truth actually comes from many outside sources. We're going to talk about the best ones as we are exploring how we can renew wisdom. In America, I'm joined by Brian Rowland and Terry Steen and our producer, John Matarazzo. And guys, boy, I can't think of a better way to finish strong and our Christian walk, than having wisdom and helping to renew wisdom.

Terry Steen:

I totally agree. And I just have to, I wonder if people are going to be a little concerned about guys like us talking about wisdom? I don't know. I guess we give it our best shot, right?

Dan Wheeler:

It shows anyone can have wisdom, if we know the right places to search for it. Right, Brian?

Brian Roland:

You know, we could do stand up?

Terry Steen:

Well, in reality, you know, James five, or James one, five does say if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God. So, hey, he'll give it to us just like anyone else.

Dan Wheeler:

And actually, we've come a long way, Terry is now spending a lot less time reading comic books, and more time reading his Bible. So

Terry Steen:

it's taken. And it's an illustrated Bible. But

Dan Wheeler:

that's, that's okay. a picture's worth 1000 words. So, Brian, all of this truth from within has led to so many dangerous things. It's actually separated us from our biological truth. And believing that man is the measure of all things. If you look at history, man has constantly made a mess of things.

Brian Roland:

Well, that's just it. We become so wise that we're foolish. And that's what's happening in the world today. And the Bible talks about that, too. It says, Then we're going to become foolish, and these days perfect. They had one right here, I closed my Bible and turn it off. Shut it down. I mean,

Dan Wheeler:

yeah, that's when the wisdom pyramid by Brett McCracken is a book that I highly recommend you pick up and read. It talks a lot about our digital age, and how we're spending so much time on the internet and on social media. And we're just getting little bits of this and little bits of that. It's like eating fast food. Instead of eating food that is really good for us. It's information, fast food on the internet. It's not leading

Brian Roland:

them. What's interesting, though, and that ties into this is that it's in First Corinthians, an eight was a first Corinthians one, or it says God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. Think that is just amazing. And that how that's happening today. He's using these foolish things that everybody thinks they're getting all this information from, and that you're learning so much from but it's just confusing them. And it's keeping them from wisdom.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, I mean, look at not only the the biological problems we're facing, but even things like defund the police. And we can't figure out why crime is spiking in these major cities where they've cut back on the police force and trying to get them off. I mean, these things are so common sense. It is foolishness. So we need wisdom, not only in America, but worldwide.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, we talked last week about truth and how everyone's creating their own truth. And that leads us right into this wisdom subject of renewing that wisdom. So it's going to be a fun discussion, for sure. Yeah, you

Dan Wheeler:

know, Psalm one is a great source of wisdom. verses one through three talks about blessings are happy as the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked. And there's a lot of wicked counsel out there on the internet, on social media, nor stands in the way of sinners. There's so many people that don't believe in God that are atheist or agnostic, and they are not at all interested in listening to what God has to say, or living by His truth. And then it says, nor sits in the seat of the scoffers but his delight is in the law of the Lord. You know, we encounter God Himself. When we read the Bible. Would you guys agree with that statement?

Terry Steen:

Yes, for sure, for sure. And the world, you know, it comes back to a pride issue and Proverbs 11 Two is said that pride produces disgrace, but humility produces wisdom, and us as Christians, if we can just stay humble and realize we don't know everything. And these intellectuals across our country think they are so wise and they're so prideful in that and that's when we're going to see them stumble, that's when they're going to see disgrace because it takes so humble, to provide the wisdom God has for us.

Brian Roland:

In the Bible is our most important source of wisdom. And it reading from the book that we were going with on the pyramid, it is literally the eternal God, the standard and source of all truth revealing himself. So there's your wisdom, right there. It is the Bible,

Dan Wheeler:

when you open the Bible, it's like God has started a conversation with you. And we're listening. And that's good. And then we have the chance to talk back to God, as we read, and things are stirred up within us of things we need to talk to him about. You know, there's severes, to hear. Yeah,

Brian Roland:

if we have ears to hear, right?

Dan Wheeler:

There are so many people, you know, they think you have to memorize a prayer, or pray in a certain way. But the reality is, it's just it's a conversation with God sharing what's on your heart, the most important things in your life?

Terry Steen:

And how could we ever find more wisdom than what the Holy Spirit can give us? Some people don't believe this book at all, you have to have a level of faith. But if you have enough faith to believe that this book is real, you can go to Second Timothy 316. And it tells us that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, or it's breathed of God. And it gives us all these things that it benefits us from for doctrine and correction, and it instructs us, it gives us the wisdom that we need, but it is breed of God, it is literally the Holy Spirit that wrote it. So that's what's so credible and mind boggling,

Dan Wheeler:

you know, some people will take just one verse, and they'll base a whole doctrine on it. And, you know, we can't just try to force fit our beliefs to match Scripture, we have to take all of Scripture. And that's why that verse that you just read, says, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for all those things. So we've got to, to read the word, but then we've got to be doers of the word, Brian, that's where real wisdom comes in. Living rightly,

Brian Roland:

well, Ron James 122, it does say do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves, do what it says. And and so we do have to be doers of the word. If it's telling us something to be doing. We need to do it. We don't need to think about is this right or wrong? Yes, it is. Right? It's already told us that,

Dan Wheeler:

Terry, there might be people listening that are saying, Man, I don't even know how to read my Bible. Where do I begin? How much should I read every day? Do you have any advice for them?

Terry Steen:

Well, first of all, I would say, if you don't have a Bible, there's many versions out there. And I would get a version that is a little more understandable than the old King James, like the New International Version, or the Living Bible, a few of those are out there. And then start with the New Testament, it's a little bit more relatable and understandable if you're just beginning and maybe start in the book of John, which lays out the entire plan of salvation and what God did in bringing His Son to earth and then go back and just read through the New Testament. And once you get through that, you'll get a real handle on what Christianity is like, and then go from

Dan Wheeler:

there. So the Bible is our basis for truth. But the word also says in Hebrews 1025, that we shouldn't forsake the assembling of ourselves together. And that's where the church comes in. So the Bible being our main source of wisdom, the next great source of wisdom is the church. And you know, I think with COVID, and people just watching Church Online, that attendance is down. We're trying to get people back. But it's important to go to church and get up off of your couch, and not just sit there, like you're watching a TV program. I think it's very important to worship together. Because if you're involved in a church, you're in a community of like minded people. And, you know, just like in sports, when you're part of a sports team, you are you belong to something bigger than yourself. Yeah,

Brian Roland:

yeah, that's true. And since COVID, and everybody was in the lockdown, and that I think people will become more I know, when they go to church, I think they're going to be entertained instead of learning something. And they're just going to do it on TV now or under under computers instead. Whereas when we go there, you're supposed to be being fed is supposed to be learning in in this that community with the other people of like mines, because that's when you share and you start learning more about, but the word because you talk about it, you talk about the service, you talk about the people that you're in close contact with there. And then you become more aware of what's around you. So that not when you leave that place, you become more aware of what's around you where you're going as well.

Terry Steen:

And the other thing is the accountability that goes with church. And I know you guys are in church, and there's, most churches now have small groups or Sunday school or things like that. And that's where true accountability, kind of you get to that level, you're in a smaller group where people know that you're there or not there. And a lot of people take too much pride in the fact that they don't need that they don't need the accountability. They don't need the Bible study. But I was just sharing with someone the other day, there was a Karen and I did a Bible study maybe six to eight months ago. And we were hoping to have a good number. And but for various reasons. By the time we got into the second or third week, there were like two or three people. And one was a young lady who had some relational struggles, she was somewhat broken, just started coming to the church, saw our small group, and the Lord led her to come to it. And she came that first night. And she just connected with us. She absorbed everything that we were doing, and she opened up and she began to heal. And over the course of those next few weeks, we could see the change in her life. And now, a week ago, last Sunday, she was baptized at the church, and she is literally the director of our outreach operation. And she feels as in tune and connected to God as she ever has in her life. And sometimes it's those stories that tell you the reality of what accountability and connection really means. So I just love that.

Dan Wheeler:

And Terry, you know, the fact that you and Karen took that step, change the life. And we often talk about that with fearless faith, we say, Guys, it's not about the numbers, we all want numbers, and we're competitive and want to get them up. But it's, you know, a few affect one life, if one of our messages touches one person, it's worthless, right. And that's how God works. It's not just the people we touch directly. But if we help someone, and then they help a couple, and then those two people help 10 And you know, it's a geometric effect. And that's why church is so important. So it does hold us accountability, because we have blind spots. And I know, you know, we try to hold each other accountable. But we need that in church, you know, go there. And hopefully you find a church where you can be open with people and say, I'm struggling in this area, I need help. Pray for me. But you know, another thing that church does is the communal worship, you know, sometimes they go into church, and they're singing, and I find myself wandering, and I have to bring it back and say, Lord, we're here to worship You. And sometimes the worship and the lyrics, those songs will speak to you if you just listen. And Brian, I don't think we do enough listening. during worship.

Brian Roland:

I think you're absolutely right. That's, it's like the prelude to what's going to be coming for the sermon. So you just get through it. Yeah. And, and that's where people have gone to nowadays. And it happens a lot in the big churches that are going on now. Because it's it's more of a concert, than it is anything else. So it's, it takes a whole different meaning to go in here to worship or to just get wrapped up and get ready for a sermon. And I mean, it's good to be excited in that. But worship is called worship for a reason. And when we're worshiping, and we were glorifying God, and we're inviting him in that place with us at that time. And it also helps us listen, you know, we're not just worshiping we're hearing from God at the same time. So I think it's a very important part of the service. And we've gotten away from that. We've gotten what what the big churches in that and gotten away. And then after COVID, we did the whole thing where we were locked on house, but then we never went back either. And it took us a while and a move to find the right church and we're back in are in strong and we're participating now. In every different aspect of it. We love it. But it's made such a difference, to have a Bible teaching minister and to have a worship that takes you into the throne of

Dan Wheeler:

God. And Terry, I think it's easy to get involved in a big church. Well not get involved in a big church. You just slip in and slip out. And you know, I always tell people, boy explore what As the church has to offer, you know, small groups are great. Sometimes there's different seminars. I'm going to one this week, and I'm so excited about we have a world renowned apologist. And he's going to talk about the proof for God's existence. And I think it's going to help me in a lot of ways, and I just I've always been fascinated by that. But church also provides moral limitations. People come in as new Christians, and they don't realize that when we come to Christ, yeah, he forgives us of our sins, but we have to repent and turn from arson.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, yeah, with the culture the way it is. If if someone's not in a church, and they're just exposed to what they're hearing out in the world, that puts there's just such a vast spread of what sin is and what sin isn't. And if you don't come under that umbrella, and really connect with someone who knows the Bible that tell you what's wrong, some some kids don't even know Yeah, that they're doing things incorrectly.

Dan Wheeler:

So we've talked about the Bible, we've talked about church, and boy, Time goes fast. Let's talk about another way that we can find wisdom, we find it in our Bible, we find it in church, but There's wisdom in nature. This is one of my favorites. Boy, when I see a sunset, or why when I see unique cloud formations, I just think, wow, God, you are just the ultimate artist or when you're in, you know, walking through a forest. And there's something it's not, you know, the written word, but something that speaks to you, at your, the level of your very soul. And you know, there's a God.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, yeah, you learn more about God by observing his creation. And, and it helps the perspective for me, I shared with you guys a couple of weeks ago, going camping with my grandson, and my son in law, and the vastness of that sky. And all those stars, and it just made me realize how little I was, and how big God is. And just yesterday morning, I took a early morning bike ride, and I was riding along around these lakes and ponds and seeing the reflection and I just couldn't help but get closer to God and gain that knowledge and wisdom that God was just sharing with me. Just ride my bike.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, you know, the Bible talks about that. In over and I'm gonna try and turn to it real quick here. Psalm 19. verses one through three says The Heavens Declare the Glory of God. That's what you were talking about. And the firmament you talked about land shows His handiwork, Dan today uttereth speech tonight and tonight's show with knowledge. There's no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. I don't care what country you're living in. You observe God's creation every day and it should speak to you it should speak for the wisdom.

Terry Steen:

Yeah. Yeah.

Brian Roland:

I totally agree with that because I since we've moved here to which he taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets, I've

Dan Wheeler:

been noticed, I see your posts. I think while Brian's not sleeping in sometimes early in the morning. Sleep lately so I remember the till noon terian.

Terry Steen:

Well, you know, it's something interesting in the book that that we had read together was this terminology of we have a nature deficit disorder, what is that there's, there's so many people that are in that urban setting that never make it out into the country never make it out of the city. And because of that there's more anxiety and more mood disorders, they've done studies. And we need nature to just kind of calm ourselves and to reflect on God's creativity.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, I'm gonna read from page 108 of the wisdom pyramid says in his book, Last Child in the Woods, Richard Lewis coins, the term nature deficit disorder and describes the negative mental, physical and spiritual effects of the denaturing of childhood. You know, Brian, that's what we're talking about. Kids aren't all playing and using their imagination we used it was amazing. The games we used to come up with and the way we would occupy our time, I was never bored as a kid we're you

Brian Roland:

know, and we always left in the morning, especially in the summertime and we knew to be home at supper time. And then we knew the be in the house. We just call it first lights when the streetlight would come on. You got to be that's when you got to be home. But no, we were always out there. I was thinking the other day about how I used to take my bike I used to ride for miles, places I would go that you couldn't even do that nowadays, but I would ride all over the place.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah. And you mentioned it, Terry, that you know, there's a This nature deficit disorder is causing schizophrenia, anxiety, mood disorder, because our brains aren't meant for all of this overstimulation and the kids are spending more time on devices than they do exploring the wildcard outdoors. Boy, are they missing something amazing, right?

Terry Steen:

Yeah, yeah. Now, the only thing I would say is if they are indoors, they need to be reading a book. Yeah, yeah, there you go. Right. That's another way that we can gain wisdom, obviously, by sharing other people's ideas, and it helps us think better, and it expands our knowledge. Yeah.

Brian Roland:

And I think that's good. Because it helps you to see something through somebody else's point of view and their eyes. And then you get to sit there and put that in your mind and think about this. And this makes sense to me this way, or is just as somebody else's perspective. And I have my own perspective, it teaches you that as well.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, you learn critical thinking, you know, you read a paragraph and you say, Wow, is that true? Yeah, I find some truth in that. It can really challenge us to get out of our comfort zones. And, you know, it's interesting because Brett McCracken in the wisdom pyramid, talks about that we should read old books, not just the newer books. What do you think that's important, Terry?

Terry Steen:

Well, if it's an old book, and it's still around, that means it's it's what stood let's test of time. Good, good. Yeah. The tests I can come up with the stood the test of time, and he was saying like every fourth book, you should read an old one. And I was just talking with Karen about that today. I want to get back into some CS Lewis stuff, begin to read some old old stuff again, it motivated me

Dan Wheeler:

The Chronicles of Narnia are just fantastic. I think I'm gonna read that series again,

Terry Steen:

Scarlet Letter Mere Christianity, there's just some good stuff. I

Dan Wheeler:

guess the rabbit skunk and scary rock doesn't fit into that. But that was one of my favorites as a kid.

Terry Steen:

I read that over and over.

Dan Wheeler:

I like it, because there's only about 50 words in it. So you don't have to have a thesaurus

Terry Steen:

to learn. That's why I read 24 books here. And then he says, to read for enjoyment.

Dan Wheeler:

I enjoy reading both sports about biographies and apologetics. And Brian, you probably only read something about the Ohio State Buckeyes. Poor guy.

Brian Roland:

Yeah. I just, you know, go with a winner. Yeah.

Dan Wheeler:

So books are important. Boy, we're running out of time, guys, beauty. Now, when we talk about beauty, we're not just talking about nature, we're talking about the fine arts. And you guys know, I was just back for encore 2022. And it made me realize how I love the Fine Arts. I used to love acting. I love the way people can come together. And just a couple of days, we put together this amazing show. But it engages all of our senses.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, yeah. And it slows us down. You know, if you sit and just absorb a music, peace, or if you're looking at art, it just slows you down. And it brings you back to a sense of observing the creativity that took place. And he said also that we suffer from a solitude deprivation, we don't take time to just sit silently. So that's one of the things about beauty that is so important in in that wisdom process. Yeah,

Dan Wheeler:

we're probably going to go just a little bit longer than usual. today. We've got a few more things to talk about. I remember Beth and I used to love going to museums, and I got to be honest in art museums, there were some pieces that really moved me and I was like, wow, this is incredible. And some stuff I just didn't get, but I think it's to expose ourselves to that.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, yeah. And that reminds me of a trip, Karen and I took to the Baltic and there was plenty of exposure on some of those statues.

Dan Wheeler:

You had to look away. Sure, all that crude. That wasn't in the outline, Terry.

John Matarazzo:

Talking about Brian, Brian,

Dan Wheeler:

let's change the subject. I know you are a huge music lover. So you know how a great piece can just move. Yeah, it can transport you back in time to happier times. It can make you sad. It can make you passive. There's a word for you.

Brian Roland:

Wow. Yeah. Wow. Two shows in a row upon so. No, it's true. It does take you back. I mean, I think every September 11 We call each other because the you remember,

Dan Wheeler:

it's actually September 21. And I know I know you had COVID Because you know that so well. He usually beats me to the punch. She'll send me Earth Wind Fire on the 21st of September. And of course, Beth and I met that's the day my grand daughter was born. That's a great song but that does transport. Phillip What a voice. Let's find finally ended up here with with social media. Is there any wisdom we can gain with social media? I guess fearless Faith Ministries and finish strong and as example of some something good we're trying to do something good and get God's wisdom out there.

Terry Steen:

Well, there definitely is. But I think it's important to remember that this is a pyramid. And so the majority of where we should gain our wisdom is back in the Bible, back in church, in the books in beauty, and not as much in social media. But there is that potential for sure. Yeah.

Dan Wheeler:

And Brian, I know, You've reconnected with buddies from the old neighborhood on social media. So that's a benefit. That's

Brian Roland:

the beauty of it. And I think is that getting in touch with old friends that I haven't talked to for years and, and you know, I've been in, like, 20 weddings. I'm getting touched with these. Some of these guys have it. I haven't seen since their wedding, you know, 3040 50 years ago. So it's, it's pretty interesting just to be able to keep in touch with and I think

Dan Wheeler:

you wore every color Tux that's in the rainbow. I mean, you had some terrible pastel

Brian Roland:

this Yeah, I haven't had a crush for Lulu. One. We were

Dan Wheeler:

some funny ones that yours too. There's five habits that we need to get into when we talk about social media. And we want to give you some really good advice here. Number one, is you shouldn't just go in there and wander and take what's fed to you. You should go in with a purpose.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, yeah, definitely. As we have talked off and on, it's so easy to go down the rabbit hole. So you need to know why you're getting on the internet or why you're getting on Facebook, do it? And then get off there. Brian,

Dan Wheeler:

what's some more advice? What's another habit,

Brian Roland:

you listen to recommendations of trusted people that's, that's in your life, who's already been on the internet and have seen or heard something that they've read there or that they heard that brought them wisdom that really touch them? And go with a recommendation like that instead of just surfing? Like you said, you didn't start surfing, that's all you do. It's there for hours and hours and hours. And it just it's a time strain. It just takes away from your day

Dan Wheeler:

and terror that becomes like a rocket Paceman bing, bing, bing, I feel like doing exactly, you know,

Terry Steen:

exactly, and it's overwhelming. There's so much. So it's so important that we slow down. And we really take in this specific information we want to and cultivate that in our minds. And then consider before we share it, you know, in James 119, it says, be swift to hear slow to speak slow to anger. So before, you know people, we see out sharing some of this crazy stuff. And they didn't even stop to think before they did quite obvious.

Dan Wheeler:

So many people regret when they post something because they post it out of anger. You gotta it's just like when you're speaking to somebody, you can say words that can ruin a relationship fast, the tone can be a forest fire. So that's really good advice. And I guess we should diversify, you know, look at some things locally, some things nationally, but get out of your comfort zone and think deeply about what you're reading. And that's why it's important to get recommendations and go to where you know, there's good sources. Yeah,

Terry Steen:

yeah, the last one is perfect for fearless faith, isn't it? The last one is to share what's good to bless others. So if there are plenty of good things in social media, and that's where we can share them with others and expand the good that comes out of it. Right,

Dan Wheeler:

Brian, we've talked about some ways that what wisdom really looks like, and we want to finish strong. And once you run us through just those final points that we need to really make them part of a habit in our lives. We have to live by these every day.

Brian Roland:

Yep. And I would start by saying that this is what wisdom really looks like. And that is you have self control to you're controlling yourself as to how much time you're spending on certain items or certain things. You have to have a plan to get you there. And what you're looking for what you're going to do slow down and process, everything that you're working on that you're reading that you're watching that you're viewing that you're hearing, slow down the process and process it and not just take it all in at one time. But take it in and pits and bits and process at rest is another one. And rest is very important because the world goes on without us no matter what a lot of times we're thinking we're missing something. So we have to be involved in every little thing. But that's one one of the big ones. It's like the world's going to go on so don't worry about it. Then there's humility.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, and a lot of Buckeye fans don't have a lot of lately. Go on.

Brian Roland:

Well, if you really want to talk about that, let's talk about the

Dan Wheeler:

guy had a good year News.

Brian Roland:

submission to authority focusing on God. And we have to quiet ourselves for him. Worship, as we talked about is so important and relentless pursuit of God's presence.

Dan Wheeler:

Boy, I like I like all of those. But I love that last one, you know, relentless pursuit. And I think of the verse in Matthew seven talks about the wise man that built his house upon a rock and it stood firm against the storms and the floods. You remember the song, the rains came down and the floods came up, but the house on the rock stood firm, we need to stand firm on the wisdom of God. And remember, Jesus said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, Matthew 2237 That's the way we finish strong, knowing what wisdom look like, looks like boy, we had a lot to discuss, guys, we went a little bit longer than usual, but fascinating discussion. Thank you, Brian Terry. Thank you, John Matarazzo, our producer, and thank you for listening and can I encourage you to share this with others if you're finding wisdom, out of our finished strong podcast, share it and give other people a compass where they can go for good information that is based on the truth of God's word? Not man's wisdom for all of us. I'm Dan Wheeler, saying finish strong and we'll see you next time.

John Matarazzo:

Thank you for listening to finish strong for more information about finish strong and fearless faith. Check out their website ef faith.org. Make sure that you rate and review this podcast to help more people accomplish their God given purpose so that together we can finish strong