Giver Blessing 11: Strategic Investments
Beloved, I call your spirit to attention, and I invite the Giver portion to come explore how God has designed you to enrich the world in your unique way.
Giver, you have watched many investors. Some investors get a better return on their investments than others. But most investment is done with an eye for enriching the investor.
Many from your tribe have received fire from the Prophet and used it in a responsive environment to accrue wealth. It is fascinating to watch your uncommon processes of accruing wealth. But it is more than fascinating - it is an elegant education - to watch a Giver begin to give back into the community through his strategic investments.
The average investor sees a need and meets that need. The Giver as a strategic investor is different. He or she sees an untapped resource and provides the catalyst that unleashes the latent power of that resource.
Andrew Carnegie was one such Giver. He received an odd combination of resources from God, then with uncommon skill cobbled them together to form an economic empire centered on steel mills.
When it was time for him to give back to the nation that had given so much to him, he looked to the explosive frontier. While most investors were seeking ways to gain wealth from the cattle and the railroad opportunities, Carnegie saw an opportunity to invest in the leadership of the next generation.
Andrew Carnegie was a habitual learner who had acquired most of his intellectual capital outside of the formal classroom. He intuited that among the traditional famers and ranchers in the frontier there would be a percentage of young people with restless, inquiring minds - who were learners like him - and that these people could become the leaders of tomorrow.
From his vast wealth, he funded hundreds of libraries across the frontier. The boys and girls growing up far from the halls of higher education that dotted the East Coast would have an opportunity to supplement their one room school house education with a world of information in the libraries. He knew that only those who were internally motivated would seize the moment. But he also knew that those young people who had a deep thirst for more knowledge and wisdom would be the movers and shakers of their generation.
He was so right. Fifty years later, after Carnegie was gone, many of the men and women who guided the territories through their transition into statehood were self taught leaders who had drunk deeply from the fountain of information found in his strategic frontier libraries. They had woven his intellectual capital into their own innate giftedness in order to develop a tapestry of social acumen needed to lead their cities and states through immense transitions.
Carnegie was a strategic investor. He spotted a vacuum that others were ignoring. Then he crafted an investment that would take 50 years to pay off, but it would continue to pay off for generations to come as the leaders he shaped would lay the foundations of those frontier cultures.
Lyman Stewart was another Giver with an extraordinary eye for strategic investments. As a young man he worked very hard in the oil fields of Pennsylvania. Early on he invested all of his capital in an oil venture there and lost it all. He was young and had not received enough wisdom yet to be able to profit from his environment.
After losing his capital, he worked many years for wages, simultaneously accruing much wisdom from those who had been in the trade longer. Eventually God knew he had received enough to begin to invest again, so God relocated him to California.
That was the right environment for his skills, so he received great wealth from his hard work. At that point, he was able to begin to give back. He became known as the dean of Western oilmen, first of all sharing the gift of his wisdom with many of his peers. Eventually he began to look widely for strategic investment opportunities since he had considerable surplus capital. His attention was drawn to the Philippines which had recently been the pawn in a war between Spain and America.
Being a businessman, he did due diligence, commissioning an investigation into the state of that nation after the war.
The reports of poverty and devastation were predictable, but he looked past that surface need. However, there was a surprising footnote in the report. The Spanish had sought to eliminate the Bible from the nation so as to reduce the chances of an independence movement arising spontaneously.
Stewart saw a strategic investment. He knew that each person God created had a potential to do immense things, that the living Word of God was a huge key for unleashing that potential. At his own expense, he had hundreds of thousands of copies of the New Testament printed and distributed throughout the Philippines. He put the seed of truth into the hands of a Giver nation.
He did not live to see the results of his plan, but history will judge this to have been an extraordinarily strategic investment. It was good seed, in good soil, at a strategic time. The Body of Christ grew and expanded for two generations.
In the 1980s the nation that had received much was ready to give back. God breathed on their Giver gift and released a spirit of intercession that was unprecedented in their history. As this form of giving back to the community matured, God added an understanding of ministry in the marketplace to that generation.
While the message of God in the marketplace was sweeping the world at the time, it found extraordinary expression in the Philippines because their transition from traditional business practices to using the workplace as a platform for ministry was empowered by their finely honed intercessory networks. Transformation in the marketplace was real and sustained as the Philippine church raised the bar for the Body of Christ world wide.
There were many different forces at work in that process, and many different players invested into the Kingdom in the Philippines, but none of them would have been as effective, if it had not been for a Giver who had an eye for investments that were transformational for decades, rather than merely relieving pain for the moment.
So we welcome you to our midst, Giver. As you observe the ever changing tapestry of our community, we anticipate that you will see strategic investments other have missed We look forward to you bringing the best of what God has given you to unlock the treasures God has placed in us that we have not yet accessed. You are most welcome among us. We bless you in the name of our King, Jesus Christ.
American Airlines Flight 2193
Airborne to Dallas
October 8, 2009
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