From The Desk of Arthur Burk: 3/29/20- Concerning Restaffing Government

Arthur writes:

Week 1.8 3:00 p.m.


There are three punch lines to the story of Daniel in the lion’s den.

-He lived.

-His enemies died.

-The highest levels of the executive branch of the empire was massively gutted and had to be rapidly re-staffed – with righteous men who Daniel trusted – including, most likely, a lot of Jews.

Same thing happened with Mordecai. Haman was killed. Mordecai took his slot. But then he staffed the administration of the empire with good men.

There are capable, godly leaders who God has created for governmental leadership, but who disdain politics and civil government because of the corruption. But that is EXACTLY the kind of man who needs to be there – someone who can’t be bought.

As God drains the swamp in His own way, and creates vacancies in strategic posts throughout the governmental agency you are focused on, call forth exactly the people whom God has already designed, trained and called to fill those posts, even though they may not have earth’s credentials and experience.

Let the grace of God be on them for rapid entrée and supernatural on-boarding.

Several Facets of Rodney Howard Browne’s Arrest That Merit Some Consideration…

I already posted some thoughts on the arrest of Rodney Howard Browne, in response to the reports that comments made in social media reflect a tone of celebration by believers at the fact he was arrested for violating the social distancing rules.

That said, someone posted a news piece and tagged me to ask for my input, and I have some quick thoughts with which I responded below to them, and I would like to share those with y’all. The portion between the asterisks was the portion I previously posted with some provocation yesternight, so those of y’all who are read that part can skip reading what is between the asterisks.

My Response To A Question That Has Several Facets

There are about 8 different ways I can approach this subject.

One, there is a submission to the government authorities that needs to take place, provided there is a violation of either the Constitution or the Scripture.

Two, there are abusive personality aspects that pastors like this typically portray, and I would urge caution when being in a church pastored by a person like this.

Three, I posted the following as it pertains to those who celebrate his arrest: ***********************************************************************

“For those who want a trigger warning….
I am not going to provide it, so read at your own risk, or scroll past.
Okay, because no one else will say it, I will day it.
If you are a follower of Messiah Yeshua, and you are celebrating the arrest of a believer, then you do not know one thing about the L-rd. Those thoughts that celebrate a believer’s arrest, whether or not you deem points of his or her theology accurate or heretical, are G-d-damned belchings from the lowest pit of hell.
This man was used of the L-rd to see to it that my former best friend’s wife came to know the L-rd.
Without Rodney’s ministry at New Life In Jacksonville, Wendy might not have had the bounty of fruit that she has enjoyed.
You stand up for how the Spirit leads you. Some of us will take a hard stance and resist government intervention in the life of the church, and some will obey.
But for another believer to utter a G-d-damned curse against another believer, to say nothing of a proven leader in the body of Christ is some the foulest raunch of Hades.
And for the record “G-d-damned” when used in proper context, as here, means “condemned by the L-rd”.
I am speaking up as a Mercy because I have Prophet friends who, for one reason or another cannot speak up, and I have less to lose than they.
I speak to protect my friends who are survivors of SRA.
Look, I get it. I am a writer and scribe, and I am sure you could cite any number of proverbs about “filthy communication”.
This behavior among believers is contemptible.
And I for one am glad someone stood up for some convictions.
“We need less wishbone and more backbone.”
-Dave Ramsey-
I pray for and stand with Rodney and his church.
Glad to see someone with the Reproductive fortitude to follow through with their own convictions that landed them in hot water.
Look, I am fine he stood for something, and that he consistently was aware of the consequences and accepted them.
But the harassment that believers routinely engage in against those that differ from them, is patently asinine.
Rodney, thanks for the ministry. Because of your obedience, my former friend and his wife are doing work for the kingdom.
And now I will lay my head down and sleep in peace.

Four, I think pastors who have convictions and act accordingly are to be admired. Just as women like Kali who act according to convictions are….just….wow. We have so many Christians who will roll over just because they are taught to be doormats because they think the Lion of Judah was just Mister Rogers with a beard.

Five, Rodney KNEW the risk and ACCEPTED the consequences, and knew this was HIS fight, not others. Our responsiblity is to make sure we are willing to accept the consequences of our actions. Martyrdom and arrest are not outside the realm of possibility for a believer.
So, I am fine with us passing news along, and even stating where we agree or disagree. But gaslighting, celebrating arrests as believers, and general gloating, when the L-rd does not take pleasure in the death of the ungodly, is bullshit.

It’s conduct unbecoming.

And six, I am of the opinion that the majority who are immunocompromised and immunosuppressed and probably all Americans should respect a two week self-quarantine.
Because I am the descendant of Blackfoot Tribes and Jews, I am not keen on the idea of Government abridgment of rights. What this can lead to, we need to be very careful where we move on this path, because it can quickly become a slippery slope. Emergency powers are not often relinquished so easily. And we were made for Separation of Powers as a nation.

Seven, my conviction is we have been given a certain amount of authority as an asset. Where are we going to choose to expend that authority?

Eight, like personality traits, G-d has given us different gifts. Some are made to teach, some are made to serve, some are made to fight, and some are made to steward, to unpack, and to provide a safe place.

Bottom line, we need our share of mouths in the body of Christ, and we need to be careful how we respond when they are silenced.

And we need to make room for G-d himself to act an intervene.

And we need sobriety in our responses.

True, Rodney is mouthy, and may have been a bit egotistical, but that is not to say that there is not a purpose for him to be wound a little tighter, and forged a little hotter. The firebrands and the ice baths both serve a purpose.

This song that the L-rd sings with the instruments of our lives is a song of fire and ice. And both are needed.

Foundations For Social Justice Is Out!

To the evangelical community on the right, I am going to say, you likely do not understand social justice at all.

To the evangelical community on the left, I am going to say, you likely do not perceive the reality of social justice nearly as well as you think you do.

This album, presented by a precious follower of Messiah is the real sharp focus of a brightly-charged frame that needs discussion.

I am going to flat say, if there are three albums you should purchase from SLG, this is probably at the top of the list this year.

Or the mp3 album

If you are going to purchase two others, I would go with Growing Your Spiritual Dominion, and When Your Call Is Blocked.

Those albums are below.

Be blessed, gang.

From the Desk of Inclusions of Grandeur With Some of My Thoughts On Spiritual Napalm

The author, Nina Lilley, writes about the way in which faith and fear, in the context of the coronavirus debacle has expanded, have substance, and those comments are worth a whole lot:

Just as faith has substance, fear is the stuff our worst nightmares are made of.  Just ask Job. In Job 3:25 he reports, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me”.  In my estimation, the current reporting in the news is an opportunity to put our faith to the test.   Do we believe His Word or are we going to proceed allowing vain imaginations of “what ifs” plague our consciousness? 


Gang, faith has substance and fear has substance and that substance can become a plague on the positive and on the negative, if we loose (Bible Terminology for “permit) either to spread.

Yes, I know the idea of a positive plague sounds counterintuitive, but we ought to let faith spread like a contagious, breeding, reproducing, living, organism with the capacity to augment our DNA for the better.


And, yes, it is an analogy, and the analogy can break down. But let’s take and cultivate the value that is in the analogy.

Concerning Spiritual Napalm…

Some time ago, my wife and I were discussing the correction that we had received from a particular friend. What confused us was that we had trusted this friend, and believed them to be accurate in hearing the things of G-d, and speaking truth. And, in fact, the initial piece this friend had spoken had some truth to it.

The problem with the truth is this….

The piece of truth that can be dead-on accurate, can be followed up by a whole load of implications that also stick based on the truthfulness of the original piece of info and it uses the initial truth claim as a detonator, and acts like spiritual napalm.

If our perceptions are off through woundedness or trauma or unhealed whaatever, we can jump to things G-d never actually said.

“Did G-d really say, ‘don’t eat!’ ?”

“We may eat these other trees, but this one over hear, we cannot eat OR TOUCH.”

That OR TOUCH problem is the opening for the explosion and for the clowns to ship us truth + napalm, if we tolerate them.

What we have present, in at least part of our discussion on coronavirus, is similar. We have a true issue or set of issues, and then we have wrapped around that truth or truths, a whole crapload of stuff that is not true or a distortion of the truth….

And it sticks

And burns…..

And sticks…

And burns….

Fear is like that if we let it grow. A plague or a napalm bomb, or Agent Orange.

And, gang, we have enough problems with Monsanto, without the devil-empowered batallions of Screaming Nazguls carpet bomb us after the initial truth claim has hit us and after we receive both it, and what we believe are the implications of it.

And this is an aspect of what has happened in the context of the corona panic, we have several true things happening at once, but we also have a lot of this sticky stuff affixing to believers.

So, if G-d has not given us a spirit of fear, and all of the major networks have spiritual junk that traffic through their broadcast media, if we do not filter out or limit our intake of the news, what are we allowing that we probably should not.

For those of you that are not aware and are conservative, FOX has a litany of the spirit of lewdness that floods its entire network.

And the other networks have stuff as well, but because I have decades of familiarity with the various FOX entities, I can most readily speak to that issue.

The question is, what of this are we going to accept and use, and how are we going to remove the things that we should not have.

In this case, how are we going to clean up the spirit of fear that has been released like a plague upon us?

The answer is both simple and complex.

Simple because we need to release faith.

Complex because we need to release and walk in faith in as many areas as we can manage. When we experience the spirit of faith calling us to do something in response to the fear that people would seek to place on us, we can drive the clowns back more effectively.

Also, we simply must not do this alone. Rather we need to embrace a deep level of relationship with the L-rd that enables us to PARTNER with Him and His agenda, and with the others that He sends us, and walk in His truth, and only His truth, in this community into which He has placed us.

So, the question we each should answer is, “what is the serpent leveraging in your life in order to add to–and hammer you with–the truth.

With those additions, the enemy adds plagues and destruction to us.

So, consider what you are adding to your own life, follower of Messiah.

φρόνιμοι ὡς οἱ ὄφεις καὶ ἀκέραιοι ὡς αἱ περιστεραί

Translated, be wise as serpents AND harmless/innocent/blameless as doves.

Protecting Heretics While Exposing Heresy

“If some preachers didn’t have someone [with whom] to fight, they [would not] have a message.”

Author withheld

Regardless of the differing views of the author of this quote (who shall remain nameless so as to not set alarm bells off for some in my audience) , this is a strong lesson that we need, that demonstrates the reality of the state of preaching today.

Too much preaching, in the interest of having “no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” has focused on how wicked, evil, heretical, and vile these teachers are, but it has done so while simultaneously shelving the fruit of the spirit.

The result is a lot of mean-spirited tripe that masquerades as good preaching.

If we are going to expose, then let us do so with an eye to reconciliation.

And let’s not engage in fighting and call it preaching.

Redemptive Gifts Post #8 OR It Is Not About How Much of That Quality You Have Striven For That Determines Your Gift OR Our Obsession With A Couple of Dynamics OR Our Obsession With Too Sharply-Defining Words, Strong’s Numbers, and the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary OR Before I Cover the Mercy

NOTE ON THE POST TITLE: The repeated ALL-CAPS word “OR” in the above title communicates a subtitle. That is, it is another way of entitling this post.

As someone who is an obsessive student with reading and understanding the scriptural text, the following words may not make a lot of sense to some in my audience, but bear with me, because I think this may help us in the post that will follow, namely on the Mercy.

Arthur Burk once made an observation about Redemptive Gifts Tests that was extraordinarily insightful to the discussion on the gifts, and I would like to highlight another facet on why the tests themselves are largely useless, and why we need to often resort to process to discover.

It is often precisely because of the way in which we (believers who affirm the inerrancy of Scripture) inflexibly use words, define words, and, frequently, because of the ways in which we expand on our definitions for what certain terms mean that gets us into trouble.

Take the “Designed For Fulfillment” book that is so popular among those familiar with Arthur’s material, precielsy because it is written down. Or take the no-so-recent kerfluffle with the material that was published/not published on Leviathan that led to misunderstandings and accusations flying around.

Or the book and concept of a culture of honor, I am specifically going to review one of the more popular works on the matter precisely because we as a church really do not understand or have a comprehensive and user-friendly conceptualization of honor that does not revolve around some form of church government, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the refusal to look at honor on its own and rooted in dignity apart from church leadership structures is killing us in the Mercy Season.

Now that I have said that, let me move back to what I have seen as a really bad means of communication on the Redemptive Gifts.

I was not recently in a course on the Redemptive Gifts, that repeated what Arthur said on the matter, and then proceeded to add words that attempted to make the particular gifts look like the titles we use to describe them.

In the Redemptive Gift test that we took in this class, I was able to identify which question went with which gift, and, unfortunately, the langauge that was used had very little to do with the prevailing realities of each of the respective gifts. For example, the questions for Giver were framed around offerings and being generous with physical resources.

The Prophet questions, dealing with matters of boldness, and so on.

And my response to that sort of inventory is “that is not how this works. That is not how any of this works.”

To paraphrase my dear friend, Bear, these gifts are not called what they are because that is what the do the most of.

A Prophet is not called a Prophet because they prophesy or declare.
A Servant is not called that because they Serve.
A Teacher because they Teach.
An Exhorter because they Exhort.
A Giver because they Give.
A Ruler because they Rule or Lead.
And a Mercy is not called that because they are Merciful.

This is not the way the gifts function.

The Gifts are so labeled, I think, because they are ways in which the L-rd wants the realities associated with the gifts to best function.

On The Prophet

Arthur repeatedly said the Prophet’s finest work is in being a rebuilder. It is appropriate for someone who is so razor-ready with a sword and a hammer, which are appropiate tools with which to build to come to a situation, able to pull it apart to its most basic elements, and recombine those elements in new ways in order to rebuild them.

Its power has no equal, as a weapon to destroy, or as a tool to build

Quickly get to the source of the problem, and quickly to fix that problem in order to rebuild the streets and the homes in which to dwell.

Prophets were made to be sharp, and not to ever blunt that sharpness. Thanks to Joanna Lo for pointing out this. A high-level and high-functioning Prophet will be ideological, sword-and-hammer-weilding, and black-and-white even when they are healthy. They do not lose their quickness or their brazen temper, or their 88 emotions just because they grow. But they do add to that ideology the skill to effectively build.

Some of you people that criticize the black-and-white of some of your friends, you are not going to break those friends of that tendency. Give up. They are not going to be shades-of-gray folk, even when they try to do so, no matter how hard you may repeat how “not everything is so black and white”. And eventually I hope you come to appreciate the different design, after healing from the wounds of those prophets who were abusive.

They are Prophets because they see design and move viciously toward seeing something or someone opperating in the best of their G-d-given design.

The Servant

The Servant can run circles around the other six in their doing and cleaning and their serving, but they are not called that because they serve, but because they are the most consistently responsible with their handling of Authority; they receive more authority than any other gift for one reason and one reason only: they do not want it.

And as a result of not wanting it, it is nearly impossible for the Servant to abuse their authority, (excepting int he most perverse of circumstances.

The Teacher

Not because they teach, though they can teach the deep things, or because they prefer the exposition and the Greek and the Hebrew. But because the perceive the rooted depths of G-d. That verse Paul speaks about “knowing the depths of G-d”, that is the Teacher’s job.

They take the deep understanding of G-d, and, forged in the midst of an encounter with the twofold fullness of G-d, both in hot and in cold, they impart those depths to others, in a slow, articulate, and methodical fashion, and they do it while fostering a place of trust and safety. For the full picture of this, see “The HP Way”, Disc 2, Cut 2 on Onyx Business DNA. See also the Teacher’s design to take new paradigms, pair that with leaders in the creation and raising up of sons, and raising the pair of those resources to a place of perfection. This is what Sir Henry Royce, and Bill Hewlett, and a hundred other Teachers did.

And it is not about whether or not you can quote what this Greek or Hebrew for this word really means according to Strongs. Strong’s is an old and extremely-dated reference. And again, we have this issue and obsession with not allowing words to be more flexible according to their context, and we then come up with some unusually silly reasons for why we think a word means what it means all the time.

We have done this with λογος and ρημα. We assume the first means “written” and the second means “living”. But Yeshua was not called the ρημα; he was called the λογος.

Words do have meanings, and the Scriptures are inerrant, but there is a context for these words, and sometimes the authors use one word where we expect another, and our responsibility is that we make dang sure we are not forcing a particular use of the word to conform to every other reference of that word, when that particular reference does something different based on its context.

Part of the reason we behave so dishonorably when we cry out for a “culture of honor” is because we have failed to robustly discuss the primacy of dignity in a culture of honor, and the fact that honor cannot exist without dignity, and honor does not heal shame.

We are obsessed with doing what everyone else is doing or looking like everyone else looks because someone told us that is how it is supposed to be that we fail to check in with Father and ask him if we are supposed to do that. Whether it is create a vision or mission statement or core values or have a spiritual father (all of which I have been told I need to do with utmost haste).

Back to the Teacher’s place.

The Teacher is the anchor of the Redemptive Gifts, the harbor, the safe haven, the one who can handle the best and the worst with equal measure and not be constantly tossed around by everyone else’s emergency.

The Teacher is so because, above all the gifts, they were made to be a the gift above all the others that can be trusted.

And they are to be the one found trustworthy above all others, because they are the motorcycle. Those two wheels have to stand up under greater pressure and put out better performance. That seat has to bear you without failing or compromise. That engine has to bear you greater distances. And because durability is in the design, if you let the full Teacher, they will show you the most exhilarating, thrilling, and sometimes most dangerous ride of your life, precisely because they have it where it counts, and they are relentless in their dependability.

This is why thye must major and get four degrees in the principle of Responsibility. They will be put in charge of a ranbunctious and motely crew of kids who will be like a horde of cats, and the Teacher will have to have the poise and relentless execution necessary to herd those cats.

The most rocksteady of the gifts.

The Exhorter

Not because they Exhort or Encourage.

But because they are the relentless builder of community, at their best.

Unlike the Prophet, who builds leaders and individuals, and the most broken, working on the two extremes, the Exhorter builds groups.

And at their worst, they can take over and control a relationship without realizing it, and run others ragged, and others will let them do it because they are so likeable.

The Exhorter, at their best reaps disproportionately when they are demanding the bald-faced reality be their portion. When they embrace the pain and can come out on the other side as the most consistent of the gifts, they are ready to be entrusted with the large groups and to govern those relationships and lead them into reality.

The Giver

These are not called Givers because they give, are good with money and finances, or because they are generous.

Guys, I am going to repeat myself. Get your head out of what you see written in that mostly-useless English dictionary pertaining to the Giver. What you might better be looking at is the concept of a Steward, or someone who manages for another.

The Giver is designed to be the most wise, the most savvy, the most perceptive, and the most outwardly-focused of the gifts, and the most birthing and pregnant of the gifts. They sneeze and three new ministries/businesses/organizations with a full portfolio and diverse means of expression explode into existence. The Giver is given these things because they are the most capable of stewarding them into existence. I would contend, they might typically do this in tandem with a Prophet (because of the need for building out new paradigms), the Exhorter (because of the need to gather peeps to people new organizations), or the Ruler (because of the need to develop new infrastructure and systems that are working, sustainable, and life-giving while skillfully allocating the resources so as to not waste or make insustainable the new work), though given enough time, I could see something life-giving in tandem with the Servant or Teacher or Mercy.

Think of Warren Buffett with his 85 zillion organizations gathered under the umbrella of Berkshire Hathaway.

The Ruler

As I discussed in my last post on the Ruler, the term “Ruler” is a wholly inadequate term to describe this gift. There is the principle of freedom, the concept of needed-quick-decisions, usually the presence of too many tasks and not enough skilled people, and the need to get all up and running effectively in a matter of days. This is what the Ruler was made for. They are not a Ruler because they Rule. The are a Ruler because the decide and deliver and father and skillfully execute with limited tools on-hand. Empires form around them. Jeff Bezos, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Bezos.

They are Rulers because they engage in the two things that will get the empire up and running; they teach you how to build the systems and structure that work, and they teach you how to fight the opposition to the systems and structures that are being built.

The Mercy

What follows here is not the whole picture, but I am led to speak to a small and strong band of the Mercy make-up.

Mercies are not Mercies because they are merciful.

Having mercy on someone is not the Mercy’s only dynamic.

And now the small but real band of the Mercy makeup; the Mercy was made to not only sanctify time highest of all the gifts, but also to give the longest space for someone to repent or be transformed in the renewing of their minds.

Mercies, for all their etherealness, are the ones that create a safe space in the form of sanctified time in order for someone to move from a place where they are not safe, to a place where they are safe, and redeemed or changed.

Mercies give the rest, and the safety in time, unlike the Teacher who provides Safe land, or the Servant who provides a safe atmosphere.

Just some thoughts on the gifts. Our words for describing them are really just inadequate in many ways, and there is a something else that better helps us in our speaking about the concepts pertaining to and central to each of the gifts.

So, it behooves us to not obsess over what this or that tool says, but to really look at a breadth of each of the gifts in action in real life and so get a real robust feel for what they look like in practical terms.

I hope this helps each of you as you read.

Please feel free to comment as you read this, and let me know either in this post, or in the Facebook page whence you came, what you are thinking of as you read.

Be blessed, gang.

Missing Thoughts From Our Homiletics: Pertaining To Genesis 18:17-21 and Genesis 26:1-5: Land Dynamics

Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way.

The L-RD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the L-RD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the L-RD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”

Then the L-RD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

Gen. 18:16–21 ESV

Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham.

And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the L-RD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Gen 26:1-5 ESV

What is Homiletics?

Homiletics is the work of preaching. Basically, executing the act of verbally telling others what Scripture is saying. And it is very appropriate for the purposes of this post.

Homiletics (preaching) often goes hand-in-hand with hermeneutics (Bible interpretation).

We read, then with Holy Spirit’s help, we understand and interpret, and then we proceed to communicate that truth with others.

What Is Missing In Our Discussion of This Passage?

For the purposes of this post, something in our articulation of this pair of passages gets lost in the shuffle of talking with others about what is happening: what is going on in the human and divine interaction with the land?

Why Land Is Important?

Frequently, as belivers who talk about the holy writ, we do an excellent job dealing with the interactions of humans with other humans or humans with G-d.

However, when it comes to how humans deal with the land, animals, and other non-human elements, we regularly miss.

So, in an effort to help us miss less, I figured I would point out and speak to those issues to help us round out some badly-neglected areas of our theology and practice.

Dynamic 1: The Land Is Used To Unpack In Us

I was reading this morning in Genesis 26, and the comment the L-rd made to Isaac in verses 2 and 3 hit me. He says two separate things here; one long-term, and one near-term. Cast the vision, next task.

The long-term ultimate vision is “dwell in the land of which I tell you”.

The short-term seasonal assignment is to “sojourn in the land of the Phillistines”.

There was something in the land of the Phillistines that was useable in the hand of G-d to unpack something in Isaac.

Now, recall that Abraham’s life was punctuated by the building of altars. He had five major encounters involving altars.

Isaac’s life, if you read the short account of his life, is punctuated by the digging of wells, culminating in his peeps finding water in the land of Be’er-Sheva.

And this well-digging penchant, and the persistence and character-building, was unpacked in Isaac in the land of the Phillistines. That land was eminently useful for unpacking the digging gene in someone that had it.

Now, we might have previously been tempted to run verses 2 and 3 together and read them as if G-d is adding emphasis and saying the same thing. But, in reality, he is giving Isaac a couple of bits of information, and through the season of sojourning, G-d would build into Isaac the infrastructure of perseverance necessary to begin the next stage of possessing the land that G-d had in mind for his family.

Dynamic 2: The Land Speaks

This is why I included the Genesis 18 passage; I have said elsewhere, though where I do not remember, that the when we have that word for “outcry“ in the Genesis account, it refers to a distress cry for the police to come.

Sometimes, we speak to the land, and in recent times, charsimatic leaders have spoken of the defilement on the land in a city, and that we need to speak to the land.

The further issue that we often do not take up, is that sometimes the land speaks.

I have encountered numerous situations where survivors of one form of abuse or trauma or or another have gone through deliverance that was all about the minister’s capacity to fix them or minister deliverance or ministry to their spirits and, instead of there being a a two-way street of give-and-receive, where they talk with the human spirit, they talk at the human spirit. Their ministry method involves them firing off volley after volley of fully-automatic rounds from their spiritual M16-A2’s and they bind and loose (though they do not understand what those terms mean) and break and shatter, and yell and scream, and mediate a bunch of deliverance prayers from some crib sheet they have memorized, but not really bothered to take the time to earn some authority by shutting up and listening, and once they minister to the person, they say, “you are all better”.

No dialogue, and very little listening to the spirit of the one being ministered to.

And we often do the same with land. We clean it up, oftentimes without talking to it, and the land has its own emational makeup, after a fashion. In the case of Sodom, that was the land crying out in distress because of the sexual iniquity and idolatry in the land. And the L-rd dealt with the iniquity on the land.

The lesson for us: The truth is that the land is often speaking.

For us the questions to ask are at least two:

1) Are we listening and responding to what the land is saying?

2) Further, are we hearing what the L-rd is fully articulating about that piece of land?

Also, what treasures are in the land? Based on the gift that is in the land (Redemptive Gifts), what are the treasures that are available to unpack?

For Prophet land, the gift is vision. For Servant land, rest. For Teacher land, revelation. For the Exhorter, community. For Giver land, birthing. For Ruler/Judge/Deliverer land, building. And for Mercy Land, the gift of intimacy.

I will hand you some other thoughts here as an example. I had a vision recently of all sorts of resources on this piece of land, like lumber and sheet metal and iron rebar and the like.

These resources are often the precursors to something being constructed.

This could be an indicator of RJD or Giver land. RJD for the obvious building reasons, and Giver for the resources and raw materials to birth out new works.

So, curious, what is your land saying to you, and what work needs to be done?

Just some initial thoughts.

A Unique Application For Servants

For those of you that are not familiar with the concept of the Redemptive Gifts and are new to my blog, I am friends with Arthur Burk of Sapphire Leadership Group in Spartanburg, SC, a think-tank that researches Scripture from a fractal paradigm and deals with answers to questions that no one is asking.

One of Arthur’s most well-known teachings covers the seven Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:6-8 and their nature as Redemptive Gifts. I cover some of the reasoning for why they are called “redemptive gifts” here.

As it pertains to the Seven Redemptive Gifts from Romans 12:6-8, I have already written on the Servant.

For those who have been waiting on pins and needles, yes, I will finish the posts on the Sixth Gift, the Ruler/Judge/Deliverer, as soon as I make the free time, and I am sorry for the procrastination.

All that said, this morning, while in Genesis, I came across a very useful application for the Servant, that from my POV, occurs in Scripture, and I have the words with which to articulate it right now. Therefore, let’s read some Scripture below.

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, that I may make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.

Gen. 24:1–9 ESV

First off, I am going to say that the text does not definitively say that this is Eliezar of Damascus, so it may be impossible to completely affirm that without qualification. However, reading Genesis 15:2 and this together, and seeing that Eliezar was the “son” or “heir” (Hebrew וּבֶן-מֶשֶׁק) of Abraham’s house (think “steward or manager of all that he has”), seem to suggest this is the servant we are talking about.

Now that we have that out of the way, consider the following factors, all of which seem to me to point to this servant having the Redemptive Gift of Servant, and the application I am going to drive at.

  1. Abraham, as a Redemptive Gift Giver obsessed with his legacy, is very vulnerable at this point. He is placing the continued existence of his legacy in the hands of someone who has the power to damage that legacy through jealousy.
  2. The servant does not violate his master, even though he places his hand under his master’s thigh.
  3. The servant had a motive to be jealous, envious, and grasping, as many about whom we read through Scripture (Gehazi in 2 Kings 5; Ziba in 2 Samuel 9, 16, and 19; Absalom the son of David) but he didn’t execute on what could have been a means of getting something for himself.
  4. The servant asked a question here that clarified his responsibilities, accounting for something that Abraham might not have seen. He acted here without guile.
  5. The servant swore the oath and left immediately and acted with leadership in the entire account and with authority toward all with whom he interacted. His mission caused him to have a fire to excel at what he did. Typical Servant
  6. The servant executed without qualification on all of his duties.
  7. The servant handled the grasping, conniving house of Nahor and Laban, without getting himself dirty or defiled, and without compromising one shred of Abraham’s integrity, and without yielding to Laban and Nahor’s unreasonable additional requests that the woman stay 10 days, which would have altered the agreement they had made the night before.

Look at that. A list of seven qualities. Giggle. Go ahead and smile :).

And now, as it pertains to altering the agreement, this is what came to me while I was writing this…

How do you respond when the deal gets altered? That may be an indicator of your design.

I imagine Lando Calrissian (yes, from Star Wars, as the principles are everywhere) was an Exhorter who was forced into situations where he had to manage like a Servant, and finesse would not work. Only harsh reality. If you watch the Empire Strikes Back, and Solo, you will see Billy Dee Williams’ and Donald Glover’s characters, respectively, being put into those situations repeatedly. And Bespin, the mining colony, strikes me as Servant in the extreme, and Cloud City, um, yeah. Second Day references here.

There is your David MacNelley pop culture Redemptive Gift reference for the post. Back to the point of the post…

The Extra Quality That Further Shows What the Servant Is

I know some might equivocate and say, “we all have problems with [insert sin here such as ambition]”, but I am saying the Servant of the Seven Redemptive Gifts struggles the least with ambition and grasping and self-assertion that is not rooted in caring for others. All day long they will do what they can to enable others, and can fall into the Savior mentality. But when it comes to advocating for themselves, they are exceptionally well-known for not defaulting to doing that, and they frequently need someone who is stronger in that department to make sure they are taken care of. My mother-in-law and my wife, both Servants, have this issue, less so with my wife, of seeing to it that they provide for their own needs. Servants have this issue with boundaries at times. This may be because they have such a desire to build platforms others for their success, or it may be because God routinely places Servants in situations where there is great dysfunction (such as in alcoholic or abusive situations) precisely because the Servant is designed with the highest authority to bring cleansing into a situation (Bronze laver, the waters above and the waters below on the Second Day) and to do all this in the most background, humble, unassuming fashion.

I have a friend that is a Servant, who handles the business accounts for another friend. Friend #1 has access to the checking accounts and financials and everything in between, right down to the pin codes, and could do great damage to Friend #2’s organization, but does not. Why? Because, as a Servant, Friend #1 does not struggle with the ambition the way any other Redemptive Gift would. Furthermore, Friend #1 protect the accounts from access by people within the organization who have less-than-pure motives.

So, now that I have laid the background and set the stage, what is that extra quality?

Very simple.

I would like to contend God places Servants more than other gifts in situations where they are responsible for managing resources, agendas, families, situations where there are great vulnerabilities present that the other six gifts would more likely take advantage.

They will also be more prone to taking insults on the chin for the organization or person that is vulnerable and keep running. Servants have a never-say-die attitude that does not quit when the other six gifts would quit, especially when the Servant is getting beaten on and pounded by others and falsely accused.

While I could see Givers doing this sort of work in protecting resources from those with hidden agendas, it seems to me that when there are greater magnitudes of dysfunction, competing ambitions in others, and an off-the-chart vulnerability of the one being protected, as well as the task of facing reviling, slander, bullets whizzing, repeated accusations, and the noise of war in the camp, more often than not, that task will fall to a Servant.

Submission In the Context of Fully-Healed-and-Blessed Womanhood and Manhood

When I was in high school, I dealt with offended theological liberals, both male and female, who used the “Paul is a chauvanist” argument to justify deleting Paul from the canon. Cue Schleiermacher, Kant, et al.

And I knew they were off, for whatever reason. It just did not feel right.

Then the chauvanistic conservatives who preached against women preachers, etc. (1 Timothy yada yada) also rubbed me the wrong way, demonstrating their slant with those bludge-verses.

So, when Arthur Burk made a similar observation of “Paul is a chauvanist” to that of the liberals, I was kind of scratching my head a bit. I was thinking to myself, “Okay. I know he isn’t a liberal, and I know he comes from an evangelical ultra-conservative background, and I know he deals with a lot of wounded women in particular, and he has a whole lot of gravitas in that arena, and so, what am I missing?”

Let me define a term that I am going to use in the following paragraph, because it feels like the right word. Mercies (those with the Redemptive Gift of Mercy) will often have these situations where they hear a word in their spirit and it is a really accurate description, even if they don’t know what the word means.

di·a·lec·tic | ˌdīəˈlektik | noun

1. the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions.

2. inquiry into metaphysical contradictions and their solutions

Dialectic or dialectics, also known as the dialectical method, is at base a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments. Wikipedia

Maybe because what is often missing in our discussion of authority and submission is the critical thread of a dialectic (yes, I believe I used that term appropriately) that involves love, that is, a mutual concern and affection for the dignity of our fellow people and love for them that protects their dignity and heart.

Put more succinctly, our discussions of authority and submission frequently do not include the dialectic on love’s and tenderness’ places in the equation.

I would like to suggest this is why we often have such damaging and abusive conversations about the concepts of authority and submission; we make authority and submission into a zero-sum game of I win/You lose, and we do not look to cultivate a win/win in our solution. And so, we suffer.

I have never really fancied myself as theological conservative, based on the full frame a lot of theologically conservative followers of Yeshua would have used. Nor do I fancy myself a liberal or a neoorthodox.

Therefore, I reently asked the question of myself “are men supposed to roll over and let the women lead alone?” The answer came back “no, that’s an inaccurate and incomplete way of framing it”.

Both are supposed to lead together.

After the end of Healing Manhood and whatever cycles of blessing come after that…

I wonder if, in the context of fully-healed womanhood and fully-healed manhood, the more accurate, full-orbed picture becomes, NOT one of submission as we currently view it, where there is a win/lose, zero-sum game…

BUT rather one where we define what currently is translated as “submission” in terms of the second commandment, to “love one another deeply” enough that both sexes are equipped and both sexes release one another into fullness…

SO that the question of “whose rights are protected, and at what expense?” is no longer the main issue, but rather caring for one another, becoming our brother’s and sister’s keeper (Topaz Business DNA), and becoming a safe place (Onyx Business DNA, Disc 2, Cuts 1, 2, and 3) become the greater issues…

That brings us to a place of “[submitting to] one another out of reverence for Christ” that much sooner.

And instead of using the word “submitting”, given the level of abuse current in the church, we might translate that concept as “loving enough to build a platform underneath one another”.

Currently, it seems that many of us see it as, “clawing at one another to protect your scrap of an empire/ego.”

Layers of trust issues here, it seems.

Perhaps it is time for us to reevaluate how we handle the domestic codes in the writings of Paul (Ephesians 5, Titus 2, Colossians 3 and others) and how we frame the Greek term that is usually translated into English as “submission”.

I do not think we have to end with a zero-sum game of submit and lose your will, spirit, mind, self, desires, in pushing for the mission of another. I think we have twisted that term of submission so much that we forget the process through which Father wants to take each of us so that we grow in cohesion one with another, and we react because that concept is a cuss word.

There are more issues present, but for now, this is what I am pondering.

Questions I Would Have Asked of Isaac and Rebekah

Given the Lord was so explicitly clear with Rebekah in Genesis 25:

The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So when she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb
And two peoples from within you shall be divided;
The one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger”

Genesis 25:22-24 ESV

I have some questions I would like to ask them as a couple:

1) Why does it seem like Rebekah never told this to Isaac?

2) Or, if she did, how come it is so evident that Isaac never engaged more actively in the work of raising up the younger in accordance with the word of the Lord? It appears that Isaac’s and Esau’s relevant interactions toward Jacob never involve the truth that the Lord had already spoken. Why is no one mentioning that at all?

3) What can account for the breakdown in communication between husband and wife?

4) Why did Rebekah seek to manipulate in order to help God fulfill this word?

5) Was this a holdover from Laban’s family and the behavior of the descendants of Terah, given we have patterns of conniving, manipulation, and favoritism, all without any inquiring of the Lord in places where doing that would have helped out?

6) I don’t hear many sermons preached on the possibility that Esau was lazy given he was a skillful hunter, and he could have gone without for the rest of the day instead of selling his birthright.

The Lord specifically told me not to address the psychological issues here, but to presently deal with the personal responsibility issues for this post. I am sure that I will write another post to deal with the psych issues at some point.

So, I am curious what y’all think is going on here and why they didn’t deal with these issues. Furthermore, what were the implications that did happen as a result of not dealing with these issues?