Category Archives: Ministry

The Kingdom Is A Goldmine

dronesofheaven

leejohndrowteamThe old man (He was over 90.) walked through the door of my store. He was dragging 3 Blue Seal bags. (I could hear plastic hitting plastic.) He walked over to my back area.

“I told you I would show you some of my collection,” he said.

He began to show me the small boxes of gold nuggets and spun gold. Continue reading The Kingdom Is A Goldmine

Consumerism In The Church?

leejohndrowteamYou can not be a believer in Christ and not think about justice. About rights (Or lack of rights.)and what that entails. (At least I hope not!)

The political season has fueled a lot of talk about rights, justice and more.

But what you do with those rights, what you say and how you act or more important.

Three Dog Night put out a song in 1969, “Easy To Be Hard”. The cry was about the need for a friend, but it also addressed the missing piece between protests and care for “the bleeding” and “how about us”.

How can people be so heartless?
How can people be so cruel?
Easy to be hard, easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings?
How can they ignore their friends?
Easy to be proud, easy to say no

Specially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil ‘n social injustice
Do you only care about the bleedin’ crowd?
How about a needed friend?
I need a friend

The gist was the song  was pointing to a culture that was caring about “the big stuff” but missing out on the “one to one” relationship and responsibiity.

There is a lot of this happening in the church on multiple levels. We can blame Facebook, TV and the media as the “reason”.  We can cite Frank Zappa’s “the slime coming out of your TV sets”, but it is really a heart issue.

Christianity is a multi-faceted belief system. Within it, there is the belief that God is all powerful, that we are to love one another, help others and more.

A lot of social programs have been birthed out of Christian values.

Yet, as the season moves on politically, I hear a lot of “they don’t deserve this (or that)”. What is it they do deserve? What is it you and I deserved?

Lately I hear a lot about the “rights” of a believer. “What about us?” I think it is a valid question, but I ask where does the answer come from? Does it come from the world of senses and soul? Or is it to come from the place of spirit?

“What’s in for me?”

Have you ever heard that spoken? (Maybe you spoke it.)

People who speak like that have not understood a) how good God is and b) what He has ALREADY given them. If they did they would not run around with hands out, seeing what they can get and who they can get it from.

Real understanding of this scriptures creates a reality of “there is no lack”. If you are still thinking there is lack and holding on to everything you can you do not understand this. In God there is no lack and therefore in His people there ought be no lack.

The easiest way to create lack is to stop giving and start hoarding.

Philippians 4:19 (AMP)

19 And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

I hear and see a lot of complaints. As citizens of the United States I think we have rights. But I wonder if more and more are playing the God card, the religion card to get what they want. The Declaration Of Independence offers the believer the following…

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” –Declaration of Independence as originally written by Thomas Jefferson, 1776

Natural rights are those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws).

You are given “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. (Meaning by the Creator.) It is up to you to keep yourself out of bondage.

There are certain rights that will need to be earned. Earned. Over time perhaps.

I understand we are a royal priesthood, but what about what that entails? Is not humility, love and giving just part of the reality?

On what hand we declare His kingdom and our walk as subjects to the King and on the other hand many are striving, crying and “working the system” of the world. Folks, that is dualism. Meaning you are “living in heavenly places” and moving as a natural person. That is a denial of the reality of Christ. The life of a believer is a supernatural one. A human body infused with the power and the presence of God Himself. We are no longer subject to the systems of the world. (You can be, but why would you want?)`

We have engaged in a form of consumerism. What that means in the natural is that is good to spend money on goods and services. It is necessary to consume to keep economies healthy.

But what about the believer? There is much to say on our methods of getting in the world. Are we frugal? Or just cheap? Are we feeding our demons under the guise of promoting economy?

What about the spiritual piece? In the kingdom we know God gives and there is no lack. So we can “consume”, eating of the Lamb and enjoying the favor, the blessing and the goodness of the Kingdom. But I also think this is where it gets sticky we are dualistic in our thinking. The Kingdom never is without, but man has the potential to be without. Trying to support the “house of cards” is a difficult process. So what do we get? What do we deserve?

I am tired of believers who know the value of the Kingdom and all that it encompasses throwing out the service or dedication of time, talent and treasure and only gathering from the “gimme” place. The church is really where the exchange of Kingdom into the earth takes place. If you have a consumer mentality of what you deserve, what is owed to you and when you ought to receive it, you are impeding the flow of the Kingdom. Remember you are the Ambassador. You do not live off the “host” country but your supply is from your home, the Kingdom itself.

How much more could be done within our church fellowships if people trusted God and saw His vision for the church on earth?

Ask yourself.

  • Am I a consumer or a supplier in the earth?
  • Have I dedicated my talent, treasure and time to the Kingdom?
  • Am I cheap or frugal?
  • Am I demanding rights in the earth (My church, my home, my business)when I ought to be exercising the goodness of God?

Depending on your answer may well determine whether you have been operating from a poverty mindset or a Kingdom mindset.

The very essence of the Kingdom is that of supply. Do you believe that? Or are you using the world for your supply when God has more?

John 10:10 (AMP)
10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].

John F. Kennedy — ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.’

Shouldn’t we stretch a little higher?

 

You Want Me To What?

leejohndrowteamI have been around the Kingdom long enough to know that you and I will always have the opportunity to trust or not to trust. To believe or not to believe.

So what is trust?

The simplest definition of “trust” from the Merriam-Webster dictionary is this, “firm belief in the character, strength, or truth of someone or something”. Living in a world where so many do not use a dictionary (or know how to) it is easy to get wrapped up in multiple meanings of words based on opinion. (”I don’t think it means that.” “Semantics.”) It is important first and foremost to know what is being said or defined to make sure communication is open and clear. Continue reading You Want Me To What?

Have You Thought Why?

cassA lot of people talk about process.

Why? Why is it mysterious for so many, educational for others and misunderstood by so many?

(I wrote this 3 years ago. I believe it still stands today. I actually wrote about process in my book, The Interrupted Process.)

Too frequently we do not understand the pattern or the process. People equate process with education. Education is simply a stone of the foundation. A key. The answer is found in the person of wisdom, Christ himself. Wisdom is critical to the finding of answers. More than knowledge, it is the wielding of the knowledge. We are told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of the wisdom. The recognition of “He is God and I am not.” Continue reading Have You Thought Why?

What Are You Saying?

matthewI thought about putting this aside. But something occurred yesterday that changed my mind.  Add in a dream where the “prison cell” was constructed of actual words and I thought this was important.

There are three topics that have been on my heart in recent days. They are the thinking of innocence, bad headlines and news and the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

I am putting aside the innocence piece for the most part because it is still “emotional” in my head. Not a place I enjoy writing from. Suffice to say, I believe strongly in the word innocence from a Biblical place and the realities of it in the Kingdom. Continue reading What Are You Saying?

What Is Your Plan?

leejohndrowteamDead at 57.

This morning I was writing a children’s book and adding a chapter to it. In this book I went back 30, 40 even 50 years digging out the memory that fit the circumstance I was working on. (Why waste a good memory?)

My main character was looking at an old picture. (Here he was in 1882 and seeing a picture from the 1970s…) I thought who might be the person?

I came to a conclusion. While I was writing, I thought, why not see where they are at. The third entry on my search was their obituary. 57 years old. Cancer.

Being 60 this is not my first run at sadness or shock.

I sat there for a moment and remembered our first meeting. The details were as if it was yesterday. As I looked at the picture I saw the person when they 19, full of life.

Each of us has a path, a journey. A place we are coming from and a place we are going to.

2016 is a year of potential. Or a year of the same. Or even a year of floundering and sadness.

My old friend. I am not sure what their journey was like. The obituary was but a painting of a life lived. Few details. Children, no spouse and a couple of friends who wrote their expressions of sadness.

I don’t know their life after I moved to a new state.

You and I, well we have a lot to do with our painting.

In a day where people put more thought into getting a drivers license than a marriage license, people often devote themselves to what they want rather than what may well be best for them. Conversations may well be about “hopes and dreams” but but when push comes to shove, what are they doing?

Many await God while He is awaiting them. (I am not talking about salvation, but about seeing change occur in one’s life.)

What is your plan? Do you have steps to your plan? (Because usually if you have no steps, you have no plan.)What have you changed today to move you towards the finished plan?

I find that if you have a plan, life is a little easier. (Just like if you have a budget you find you have more money and less stress. People make 2016 the year of your budget!!!)

Many years ago I would meet in a restaurant with friends on a weekly basis. The owner was very old man. Each week he saw me set down to have coffee with friends. And as I sat he would approach tables (including ours)with the same questions. “Do you want to get ahead? How many hours do you work? How many hours do you sleep? What are you doing with the other 70 hours?”

It is a real group of questions.

2016 can be better or worse than 2015. In the end a lot will depend on what you and I want to see it shaped into.

Gifting God

2015-11-06 11.05.36“Take the scissors and open the blades this much. Then push against the wrapping paper.” The shears quickly cut the paper.

That was my mom teaching me how to wrap a present. Whether it was socks, a boxed tie, a belt or some unusually shaped toy for a brother or sister. (Last night I showed my grandson, Jacob, some of the same techniques.) Gift wrapping was about the most fun of the season after the tree was up and in place.

Both my mom and my dad taught us the value of doing something well when it came to Christmas presents. Wrapping presents often took hours. Scissors, tape, ribbon and paper. They taught us how to curl ribbons and make beautiful bows. How to hide the cute ends and square packages.

The wrapped packages were pieces of art.

We would make little cards of scraps of wrapping paper. Little rhymes would be used to “suggest” what was inside. (Don’t worry about the weather,for this is better than leather.)

People were devoted to the process of making something better. Expressing oodles of love and care. Blessing one another.

My folks would go to stores where many of them would gift wrap as a service. Beautiful boxes, colorful papers and artsy bows, couple with a gorgeous card. (You had the sizzle and the steak and there was atmosphere too!)

There were no bags. Few gift cards. As a matter fact, the only thing a bag was used for was to get packages from one place to another.

I know it is Christmas and the thoughts are in your mind.

It would be a good Christmas story.

But as I pondered it a few days ago, I thought about our devotion to Christ. Often in our walk with Jesus people fizzle out, get bored, becoming less enthusiastic. (Still saved, just not having fun.)

It is not a criticism but more of an observation. Why does this happen? Because often we forget two things. One is, He is the source of life. Two is, we get allow ourselves to get caught up in other things. We tend to forget “customer service”. We skip the devotion.  We miss the special things we once did.

Now, we look to give God “gift cards” and “presents” tossed in a bag.

Something needs to change.

Whether it is cooking or wrapping presents if it is not bringing you joy, it is not the project, chore or task, but most likely it is the times missed out on.

But, I am so busy!!!

You can choose to be offended, feel guilty or shout “stop”, but busyness coupled with no joy is often the signpost of you forgot something.

In Him, you can find joy doing dishes. Too many are forgetting the simple fact that He is life. In Him we have life. Through Him we have life.

Dolly Parton — “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

I encourage you to recollect the things that brought you joy. Maybe Christmas is your jump start.

The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things.

Thomas S. Monson

Declare – Thoroughly Make Clear

"Use me!"
“Use me!”

Yesterday had been a rough day on some fronts and as I was just falling off to sleep, I was awakened.

“Declare, declare, declare.”

What?

“Declare!”

My attention was being caught and my sleep was eradicated. A download of heaven was happening.

I grabbed my phone and began to research.

de·clare
diˈkler/
verb

verb: declare; 3rd person present: declares; past tense: declared; past participle: declared; gerund or present participle: declaring

Do you see that “3rd person”? My attention was being caught rapidly. I had worked out in my mind what I thought I was hearing, before I decided to grab the phone. 3rd person…

Say something in a solemn and emphatic manner.
“he declared that he never revises his prose”
synonyms: proclaim, announce, state, reveal, air, voice, articulate, express, vent, set forth, publicize, broadcast;

Informal come out with, shout from the rooftops
“she declared her political principles”

formally announce the beginning of (a state or condition).
“Spain declared war on Britain in 1796”

synonyms: assert, maintain, state, affirm, contend, argue, insist, hold, profess, claim, avow, swear; formal aver
“he declared that they were guilty”

pronounce or assert (a person or thing) to be something specified.
“the mansion was declared a fire hazard”

synonyms: show to be, reveal as, confirm as, prove to be, attest to someone’s being
“his speech declared him to be a gentleman”

openly align oneself for or against (a party or position) in a dispute.
“Mr. Roosevelt had declared for “a new deal.””

announce oneself as a candidate for an election.
“he declared last April”

reveal one’s intentions or identity.
archaic
express feelings of love to someone.
“she waited in vain for him to declare himself”

Origin

Middle English: from Latin declarare, from de- ‘thoroughly’ + clarare ‘make clear’ (from clarus ‘clear’).

I heard before I even grabbed my phone. “Add light. Clarify, make clear.” Not just clear, BUT thoroughly clear.

I have always believed that what you say is important. After last night I believe it more than ever. Is it possible declarations of the negative kind are making the atmosphere negative? That positive ones add light and life?

I know I will have more on this but I would be interested in how this might affect you.