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David Statue - New Orleans, Louisana

Andrew Jackson – The Battle of New Orleans

Oh, I Won Already?

“And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.” I Samuel 16:12 KJV

Sales are a bit of a funny thing by nature. As a salesperson it is your job to convince someone to purchase an item or service you are promoting. It is really hard to sell something if you don’t know anything about the product or service, although I have seen people who could do just that. There’s an old expression for a good salesperson: He could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo.

A good, caring salesperson will not only look for selling opportunities among his most profitable items, but he will also try to figure out what items fit the customer’s true needs. This results in a win-win situation for both the salesperson and the customer.

One of the greatest benefits to a salesperson’s efforts is getting to know his customer. This helps the salesperson distinguish which items would be most useful to his customer. When future products are presented to the salesperson they will know which of their customers would be a good fit for that product. This also enables the salesperson to have a real opportunity to develop some long lasting friendships.

Some people believe the greatest gift of a salesperson is the ability to communicate or persuade. It is usually true that it is a much more pleasant experience to be advised by a gifted communicator, than one who seems to ramble aimlessly, but I don’t think that is the greatest gift of a salesperson. Personally, I think the best salespeople are the ones who are the best listeners. The best salespeople are those who come up with the best questions to ask their customer and then they present the best solutions to those answers.

Most salespeople like to talk. I guess they think it makes them look smart. But if a salesperson is doing all the talking, how can he truly know what it is that the customer exactly wants? Listening is the key. Unfortunately, most salespeople seem to forget that.

Two of the biggest mistakes a salesperson can make have to do with talking. First, they simply wear the customer down by all their talking. The customer just gets tired of all the talking and just wants to leave or they want the salesperson to leave.

The second consequence of too much talking is the customer doesn’t get enough time to digest all the facts being laid in front of himm. “It comes in red, yellow, green, black and white. You can get two speakers or four speakers. There is an indoor and an outdoor version…..” On and on the facts are presented. By the time all the facts roll by the customer forgets which color it was available in.

The combination of rattling off too much information in succession, talking too much, and not listening enough often discourages someone, rather than encourages someone to make a purchase. It is also quite possible to lose a sale by providing too much information or talking too much. You may have the item sold, but you may mention, “…some of the cheaper items don’t have this feature.” It might not be a feature the customer wants anyway and now you have convinced him he is really wasting his money on the product you are trying to sell him. You already won the war, but you went on fighting anyway.

Sometimes it’s a little strange how people can look at the exact same situation and see two totally different things. Some wars are caused by aggression, but many are cause by the fact that two sides see the exact same thing differently. Such observations might have been the cause of this war.

For young America, its citizens viewed this war as a total lack of respect. On the other side, the enemy, the British, believed the Americans were in a power grab for Canada. The British further thought the Americans were seizing on an opportunity. They thought the Americans saw an open door to acquiring Canada because Britain was already at war with France.

The British also thought they had gone out of their way to accommodate the Americans. They were quite “shocked” that the Americans had any cause to be upset with them, much less declare war on them.

For our part, America was upset that the British wouldn’t allow our ships to trade with other countries. In fact, the British would capture American merchant ships and make those merchant sailors members of the Royal Navy. The British were also accused of inciting the Native Americans on our western border.

The British and some of those living in New England would refer to it as Mr. Madison’s War. The Americans would just call it The War of 1812. However you look at it, James Madison became the first United States President to declare war. Of course, it was actually Congress who declared this war, but it was upon Madison’s request.

The British plan would take place in three stages. First, they would attack American ships and block American ports. Second, they would fight land and sea battles on the Canadian-American border. Third, they would fight the Americans in the South and Gulf Coast.

We all have encountered difficult people. When you are not around them for extended periods of time, it is usually a little easier to “put up with” their antics. Where we run into trouble with difficult people is when they are in our pathway all, or most of, the time, or when they are a close friend or  family member.

One case where difficult people can really make your life miserable is at work. You have to have the job so you don’t have much choice sometimes. What can make it worse is if the person causing the misery claims that they are “treating you like family.” Another thing that can seem to chain you to that person is if they seem to continue to chase and haunt you even when you are trying to flee or you are just trying to stay away from them.

If you have ever felt that way, boy, is there a Bible character for you. Our little Bible character had grand dreams of being a super star with this company. Even though he was young, he had a real cocky attitude. He was able to back up his words with his actions, though.

Soon everyone was talking about him, even the boss. The boss saw so much potential in the young lad. The boss even invited him to be part of “the family,” or inner circle. The young lad was starry-eyed when it came to the boss, so any attention the boss threw his way, he ate it up.

The young lad even became best friends with the boss’s son. The best friend never seemed to get jealous even though it appeared the young lad had far more talent than he had. It was all that talent that would get the young lad into trouble.

Since we really had no Navy to speak of, it looked like it was going to be an easy victory for the British. The Canadian-American border skirmishes almost always ended in American defeats.
The Americans did find a great deal of success against the Native Americans. Our victories there ended any talk of an independent Indian confederacy.

The Americans got better at fighting and then our efforts at the Canadian border seemed to pull us into a draw with the British. But then the Americans’ luck began to change, for the worst.

In 1814, the British defeated Napoleon, which pretty much ended their war efforts with France. This also freed up a lot of their troops, which they sent to America to fight. Now they could teach those pesky Americans a lesson.

Instead of seeing these overwhelming events as a sign of imminent doom, the Americans seemed to rally. It was then that it became not just a war for respect, but it became our second battle of Independence.

We would repulse the British’s efforts to capture New York at Plattsburgh. Then the British would aim at the heart of the new republic. Driving right at our center, the British would just walk right into Washington DC and burn it down without much resistance.

Gaining much confidence, the British decided to march right up to Baltimore and do the same thing. The Americans had other ideas. Again, the Americans turned back the British efforts. An American even wrote a famous song about that battle. Maybe you have heard of it before? It is called “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Soon our young Bible character was overshadowing everyone with all his accomplishments. His cocky attitude disappeared a long time ago. He was a team player and he felt his victories were the team’s victories. The boss was starting to get a little on edge. Was this young upstart eyeing his job?

The boss’s attitude seemed to change dramatically. The young lad didn’t notice because he thought the boss was very proud of all he was able to accomplish. The boss had given him an almost impossible task and he accomplished it with flying colors. This resulted in the boss letting him marry his daughter.

Because the young lad was so blinded by his love for his boss, and now father-in-law, he was unaware that the boss was trying to destroy him. The boss’s son, our character’s best friend, would break the news to him.

The lad told his best friend to do a test to make sure. When it was revealed what the best friend told him was true, the lad decided to just leave. He wouldn’t even tell the boss he was leaving. He hoped that would be the end of it. It wasn’t.

The Americans still had to deal with our Southern frontier. President Madison had to find a scrappy, tough guy to go down South and teach those British a lesson. He found his man in General Andrew Jackson.

Jackson was a real take charge type of guy. The British had their eyes set on New Orleans. Boatloads of soldiers, backed up by reinforcements, crowded into the Gulf of Mexico. Jackson went into action.

Jackson ordered martial law. He ordered soldiers to build defensive positions because he realized he only had a few days before the British attacked. He gallantly declared he would never give up as long as he had a breath in his body.

The Battle of New Orleans began on January 6, 1815. Twelve days later, on January 18th, it was over. It was the most lopsided battle of the entire war and that victory belonged to General Jackson and America. This small band of Americans had just knocked off the empire that had just defeated Napoleon.

Most historians insist that the War of 1812 was a draw. Most of the citizens, of both countries, were crying to their government over the huge cost of the war. The war brought us almost to our knees, financially. That’s not counting the actual physical damage the war caused. At the war’s close, everything, including territory, was pretty much just like it was at the beginning of the war.

But what some may not know is that the Battle of New Orleans was actually fought after The War of 1812 was over. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 27, 1814, twelve days before the first shots were fired in New Orleans. Communications were very slow at the time and both parties were probably unaware of the peace treaty.

But the Battle of New Orleans probably served a greater purpose. With such a decisive American victory, the British would now have to respect the Treaty because we showed them we could stand up to them if we had to. Maybe the strangest thing to come out of this war is the mutual respect we now had for each other. Britain and the United States have pretty much been strong allies ever since.

David was very loyal to King Saul. Saul was very threatened by David. In a fit of rage he would toss a spear at David and just miss him. Still not convinced that Saul’s anger toward him was real, David would have to hear the truth from Saul’s son Jonathan, David’s best friend. David would flee for his life.

Saul would not let David go so easy. Time and again he would chase David down and try to kill him. At least twice, David would have the opportunity to kill Saul, but he refused to do it.

I believe David understood something more than most of us do when we have the opportunity to get our revenge. David understood that the battle had already been won. For all the running and all the hiding David did, he knew God had all the answers and it wasn’t his job to force his personal judgment or will on the situation. I also believe David knew, after all Samuel had anointed him many years prior, he would one day become king.

Sometimes we are so eager to push our point. We oversell our own importance. Sometimes, like General Jackson, we don’t hear the call that the war is already over and we keep pushing for a victory that is already there. Maybe we need to be more like David and realized God has got everything under control.

Prayer: Dear Mighty Father, Please help me in those times that I try to convince you to buy into my program. Help me to find out what it is you want me to do by asking questions and listening to what You want. In those moments when You have already claimed victory, please grant me the wisdom not to fight unnecessary battles. Amen.

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