Linear, Orderly Strike Force

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In 1971 Bangladesh was recognized as a new nation, in its own right, after a civil war with Pakistan that lasted nine months and cost about a million lives.

As births go, it was bloody and brutal.

The Bengalis were finally in charge of their own destiny, but had to start with a nation that had been savaged in so many ways.

As the fledgling government came to grips with the fact that freedom is vastly more demanding than the slavery of war, they looked beyond their borders for resources.

One resource they treasured was Dr. Viggo Olsen, an American missionary doctor who had been working in "East Pakistan" before the revolution.

He had built a brand of being able to get things done using a remarkable blend of American systems and Bengali cultural norms.  This was refreshing in light of all the American do-gooders who had come with US dollars and made a mess with their misguided sincerity.

Dr. Olsen was so remarkably successful that the fledgling Bangladesh government reserved visa #001 for him, wrote him in the States begging him to return.

He did.

Dr. Olsen is my poster child for a mature gift of Ruler, who could bring the best of systems thinking, fold in the power of God seamlessly into the mix, then mobilize large groups of people without exploiting them.

A giant in the land, who massively contributed to the building of a new nation.

His story is found in the book, "Daktar: Diplomat in Bangladesh."  A good read.

Well developed Rulers are not often found in church leadership and when they are, they are too often one sided – strong on systems, lean on an interactive relationship with God.

Problematic, and it has earned the Ruler tribe some lamentable labels in many Christian communities.  They typically get exiled to the business community.

At Shelby, the SLG office team executed with EXCELLENCE.  There were some name tags that were not quite right, and a couple of other glitches, but our systems were GOOD and they were rolled out without drama with good benefit to you.

And by the way, the Presence and Power of God were also there!

It was not a tradeoff.  Good systems did not block the flow of God's grace.  They facilitated it.

The Ruler gift does not have a monopoly on being linear and orderly.  That can flow from character and training as well as design.

The Mercy gift has graced the world with some exceptional, highly complex, highly functional ecosystems.  Like the ones Pamela Beauvais develops at her work.

Anyone who wants to, is hereby given permission to try to hire Denise away from me.  Give it your best shot.  She came from a context of political gamesmanship salted with incompetence, with a side dish of cluelessness.

She sort of likes the Prophet-designed systems in our company because they work and they allow her to shine.

So regardless of your journey, or your redemptive gift, or your gender, if you can design and execute plans and systems with excellence, while experiencing the power of God flowing through you and the systems, I would love to have you on this team.

Margaret is a classic. NOT. A. RULER.  NOT.

But she can execute and she knows her God.

She got a job with a company that had "issues."  Umm . . . more along the line of I. S. S. U. E. S.

They were a small manufacturing company, and their main machine worked at a fraction of capacity.  It needed more babysitting than teething twins with the stomach flu.

One day, the two lead guys decided to go to lunch together and leave Margaret to "care for" the machine.

Margaret is not an engineer.  Not even an auto mechanic.  NOT.

She sat down in the vicinity of the glitchy monster and watched it mellow out and start producing at a higher rate than ever before.

THAT is what you call a BLESSING OF PRESENCE.

Just being put in charge, caused a hunk of steel to come down with a serious case of attitude adjustment.

Not too shabby.

I expect the Columbus event to be run better than Shelby.  Joyce was greener than little green apples in Shelby.  A baptism by fire.  And she did well.

She is going to run the crew at Columbus, and is going to NAIL this thing.  She will be a seasoned member of the SLG team by then.

So I have no concerns about Joyce's ability to get the "stuff" done.


But what if we had a team of Margarets praying into the event?

What could God do with that Scrabble letter that has never before been done in human history?

Where is He aching to send the devil back to school and show that bad boy how this thing is done, Heaven-style?

Think of the clunky machine.  Electrical motors.  Moving parts.  Flow of raw material.  A bunch of stuff got synchronized by Margaret doing nothing – just by her being.

Now think of hundreds of people in the room, all at different places in their journey, all needing their own unique fix, all having filters that distort their view of God in some way or another, and most not knowing each other well.

What if God took the letter burnished by the team of Margarets in the Tribe, and synchronized the whole room full of people into one unit, each giving and receiving in perfect synchronization.

A stunning picture.

Or how about we go bigger.

The single most epic picture in Scripture of linear, orderly power of God at work is the cherubim in Ezekiel 1.  Their exquisitely synchronized motion broke the power of the stupendously established Babylonian magic over the air so completely, that GOD CAME TO MAN.

Calling all the Margarets in the Tribe.

This could be the most critical strike force of the entire event.  You were made for this and have been honed under pressure, for decades.

Copyright by Arthur Burk
March 2023

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Prayer Strategies

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Strategy #1

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SLG is broadly not overly linear or orderly.  Between the chewed up people who are still trying to figure out how to do life, and the free spirit types who zip around like a hummingbird, we are well populated with frenetic zig zags.

Thus, those of you who identify as linear by design and/or by discipline are a highly valued, scarce resource.  Thanks for joining in this strategic strike force.

I would like you to start this process by celebrating yourselves.

The stereotype of linear, orderly people is that they are highly dependable, and not much fun, and certainly not very good at love or intimacy.

This is a stereotype we need to push against at the beginning of this journey, since we are focusing on unleashing the four hearts to experience intimacy with God.

In the album “Office of Personhood” I talk about our “enjoying our joy.”  That is when we find pleasure in doing what we are made to do.  Then the next level is being aware of Father enjoying us, enjoying our joy.

Attached you will find a picture of two pieces of wood, joined in a pretty high quality seam.

Visitors in my home would walk by that and give it a one second glance.  Nothing remarkable.

For me, searching two states, for weeks, for the dark wood, called padauk, from West Africa, and getting the joint just right with two different densities of wood, which hold humidity differently and so many other challenges, is a big deal.  The fact that it came out looking so good, brings me pleasure every time I walk by it.


So I am enjoying my joy, in savoring the process of making that joint.  And God, who made me to enjoy woodworking, enjoys my joy, even though to everyone else, there is nothing remarkable about that.

That is what I want you to do.

Sanctify your design and your discipline by enjoying what it has brought you, and seeking to feel the heart of God as He enjoys you enjoying your joy.  Look back over your life for the next couple of weeks, pulling up the good files, and savoring them.  An act of worship that sanctifies design.

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Strategy #2

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When the Hebrews left Egypt, there is little sense of order and organization.  It seemed to be each household for himself.

When the Hebrews left Mount Sinai, they had been sorted, and ordered.  Everyone had to live with their clan, in their tribe, and be positioned at the right point around the Tabernacle.

There are people for whom that was a huge relief – they crave the sense of safety that comes from a stable configuration.

And there were surely some free spirits who felt staggeringly cramped by the linear campground.

There is a story I love, from an American lady who spoke in to a women’s gathering in China.  God moved on her, and she spoke to the Chinese without using an interpreter and her Chinese was amazing.  God ministered to many ladies there.

However, at lunch, a violent debate broke out as to whether she had spoken in Mandarin Chinese or in Cantonese.  Both were heard.

The short version is that God took the sound coming out of her mouth and converted it into two different languages in the air, and it landed in each ear, in their native tongue.

God can do the same in Ohio.

My presentation should be considerably more linear than America’s convoluted, conflicted, contradictory foreign policy, but considerably less linear than the times tables.

Doesn’t matter.

Ask God to take my words and convert them into whatever presentation each person needs, to hear what I say in their “native tongue.”

He can do this, and it will make a huge difference in the ease with which the spirit can receive the info, if the soul is not conflicted over my presentation style.

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Strategy #3

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We are going to change things up this week, as I ask you to focus your prayers on me, not on those coming.

The grieving process is a strange beast, and it plays havoc with mental processes.  I am not at all clear on whether it messes with the organic brain, or the emotional brain, but it messes.

As is quite to be expected, Ann’s death and everything around that has cost me most of my mental bandwidth.  I can only focus for short period of time, instead of hours at a time, and looking at a lot of pieces of data at once, is challenging, still.

And the clock is ticking toward June 24th when I am expected to speak for a whole day.

To do that, I will need some divine intervention.

One option is that God graces my soul/brain to function much better in the next few weeks than it has in the past few weeks, so I can do a realistic amount of prep.

The other option is that I show up as just a visual prop, and the Holy Spirit takes over my mouth for the day, and does a supernatural job of delivering truths I never knew.

I am 100% comfortable with option #2.  But I have no promise that this is what God plans to do, so in the absence of that safety net, I am working on my notes, in the hours when my brain will play ball.

Would you listen to the Spirit and pray whichever way you feel led?

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Strategy #4

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Ya done good.

Thanks for your prayers the last two weeks for my notes.  In two sittings, God downloaded a massive outline that went in a wonderfully different direction than I anticipated, but it is good stuff and I am emotionally engaged.  Now there is just work refining it the next two weeks.

So I have a paradox for you.

At the Shelby event, we were heavy handed with control in many areas, because of the desire to create a culture of AWE.  We did, and it was good.

For Blessing Your Heart, we have lifted most of the controls, deliberately, because the objective is a lighter mood, where people connect with each other and with God in a lighter way.

That means there is an opportunity for low level chaos as that many people try to get into the building on time, meet their friends, get caught up on the past six months, and generally forget to get into their seats by the time the event is ready to start.

In human terms, we are looking at a trade-off. At Shelby, we went vertical, at the expense of the horizontal connections.  In Columbus, we are going horizontal, which normally will cost us something in terms of vertical reverence.

But it doesn’t have to.  We don’t have to operate in the zero-sum-game of the culture, because we serve a higher culture.

So you linear people, with your authority that comes from that lifestyle, pray that the Holy Spirit will massively empower the timing and the location of all the personal connections that need to be made, so people can have the best of both worlds.

Thanks much.

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Copyright by Arthur Burk

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