Updated: Jan 5, 2021
When we laid out Brave Sky’s mission statement, we experienced much disagreement as to how exactly we would reach out and serve local communities around the United States and around the world. We needed a fourth corner for our foundation, which already consisted of RESPECT, MENTOR and HOPE. Finally, God led us to the word “INVEST.”
You may be wondering what investing has to with Brave Sky, and honestly, that’s one of the issues we came across when considering it. “Empower” was an option, but we had seen programs claiming to empower when really all they offered was a feel-good experience. “Serve” was already very clear because the entire scope of ministry is service. “Invest” was a long shot because it brings money and finances to mind, especially profits vs losses and risks vs rewards.
We initially disagreed about how “INVEST” could conjure negativity in many people’s minds, but we did come together about it eventually. As an organization, we were adamant that we would never invest to expect a return. Our policy is to always invest time, energy and available funds to serve others. Brave Sky always offers services and programs completely free of charge to anyone, without reservation or expectation. We are continuously and consistently trusting God to use all resources He’s given us to pay into the lives of others, to help when and where and how we can. We allow God and God alone to seek the return on our investments into others so that we never give up helping and growing.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and greed.” Matthew 6:24
I grew up in a family of business-oriented people, where money was king - finances were worshiped so completely that they became the focus of everything. I learned how to turn a buck, and I became very good at it. My parents saved incredible amounts of money over the years by skimping on necessities and cheating the government. They refused to maintain their investment properties, allowing them to run down in order to save money - they called this “investing in my future” as if they were doing it for me. How would there be a future if they kept skimping on upkeep? There would be nothing left! Seriously, if my father had the option, he would dump they money into a giant vault and swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck. If my mother had the option, she’d spend every penny - and it’s still the same today.
I watched my parents only spend money on the things they wanted. They would only give money if they were promised something in return. They only donated to charities in order to get a tax deduction and recognition. Their motives were always selfish and greedy - they refused to give if they had no guarantee of compensation. This mindset taught me to give and invest in others only if there was an assured return for me. It took God many years to unravel and replace all I had erroneously learned about money and giving - and I am so thankful that He did! My heart is to serve and love people, not to take for myself. If it were possible for me to give away everything I possess to help others, I would do it in a heartbeat. Our family has given to the point of exhaustion and we have nothing left to give.
Money is not a bad thing, and it is necessary for the current way our world works, but the love/obsession/worship of money and the power it can offer - that is bad. When it’s boiled down to bare bones, the worshipful pursuit of money is simply a selfish chase after security (aka power, love, respect, freedom).
When money is pursued to gain wealth specifically to share with and pass along to others, to lift up fellow humans from the depths of slavery to a place of freedom and fair choices, that is no selfish chase after security - it is a bold and selfless act of love.
Countless people in the world today have a vast variety of resources (not limited to currency) that they have the capability and opportunity to use selflessly, building others up around them. And yet, with all the needs of this world and the chances to give to and help others, very few take advantage of these opportunities. Why? Because it all begins in the heart.
Before starting Brave Sky, Anne and I worked to ensure our hearts and motives were in the right place, including how to pursue and invest the donations we receive. The most important tenet holding up Brave Sky is this: God has given us everything we possess, whether money or things, and every single one of these things we have given right back to Him; we have released our hold on everything and asked Him to use each possession as He wishes. How freeing this is!
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” - Job 1:21
Once this principle reaches one’s heart, that heart is able to come into alignment with God’s plan and desires. As Brave Sky’s founders, Anne and I have personally committed to live by this principle. We invested all we had, even our future, in full service to our God. How have we done this? I resigned from my 15-year career in aviation to be available at a moment’s notice, when and where God needs me to go. Some days it has felt nearly impossible, but we do now truly understand what it means for God to provide our “daily bread.”
“Give us today our daily bread.” - Matthew 6:11
God has provided for us in many strange ways; we have not experienced the abundance we once had before we stepped out in faith, but we have lived in times of plenty and times where everything was stretched thin. After more than 18 months of not collecting a paycheck, we still exist and have never been without a meal on our table. There have been many times where God has provided much more food and supplies than we needed, and we were afforded the honor of giving the extra to others in need.
Our entire lives are an investment into God’s kingdom, and we use only what we need and give the rest away. All we personally hold and all assets of Brave Sky belong to God - we have determined to invest it into His kingdom, to shine a light into the world and show them the love of God. We are investing in all the individuals we meet, whether they realize it or not. We love to serve God through those He sends to us. We will continue to invest all He gives us and more, so that He will receive the huge return on our investment. And as the result of our mindset, we also desire to assist those whom God is calling to start and maintain ministries that honor Him.
We at Brave Sky firmly believe that investing into the Kingdom of God provides endless possibilities when we are making investments of our time, resources, finances, generosity, and kindness. Therefore, “Invest” is the last and most important of all the values on which we were founded. We believe without a doubt that the investments we make today will mature in God’s bank account tomorrow because…
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways. (This is the Lord’s declaration.) For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My Word that comes from My Mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” - Isaiah 55:8-11 CSB
We encourage you, as the reader of this post, to consider the motives of your heart. Is your God in control of your life, or are you? If you believe that God has given you everything you possess, whether money or things, have you lifted up every single one of these things back to Him to use as He sees fit? If not, please consider what you actually believe.
Too many people talk a good game but never “put their money where their mouth is.” Don’t let this be you. I don’t want to offend you, but I do have an assignment from God, and part of that is for me to tell you to step up to the plate. Why are you not sharing all the resources that God has entrusted you with? Why are you not using those resources, His resources, as He deems necessary?
This was the slap in the face that God used to wake Anne and myself up, and we realized that our hearts had been in the wrong place for so long. We wanted what we wanted, not what God wanted for us. We immediately put our hearts and motives back into His hands.
If you support us, we urge you to prove it by taking bold actions! Brave Sky is in dire need of funding and equipment, and we want to see you “Be Brave” and take a step to “put your money where your mouth is.” This is not only for our benefit, but for yours! We want you to have a heart for God and His purposes, and to give generously and cheerfully, otherwise your “gift” becomes extortion on our part, and our emotional tugs convince you to donate. We don’t want you to feel guilty, we want your heart to be right! We want you to follow God, not everyone else!
The only personal benefit you are guaranteed through your giving is that God is pleased that you followed His directions, and that is strictly between you and Him. Other than that, the investment you made was on behalf of God, and you get no credit for it. You were depositing funds into His account, for His oversight and direction. And if you research the ways that God grows His investments, you can easily see that He always has an exponential return on investment:
“So listen to the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path. And the one sown on rocky ground — this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. But he has no root and is short-lived. When distress or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away. Now the one sown among the thorns — this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But the one sown on the good ground — this is one who hears and understands the word, who does produce fruit and yields: some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty times what was sown.” - Matthew 13:18-23 CSB
When you give to God’s purposes, He takes the amount you gave and He multiplies it exponentially, but only as it pertains to how it was given. If you gave for God’s benefit, He multiplies it even more than if it was given selfishly.
If you say your finances are God’s, give where He leads you to give because it’s His money! If you say your heart is God’s, show love and support where He leads because that heart is His! Therefore, you have chosen to join God’s team, and when your team wins, you win too! This is not saying you will be financially rewarded, and if that is your goal, you should rethink your priorities. Greed is a slave driver, not a gracious mentor. Your surplus has been given to you so that you will bless others who are in lack.
“The gift is acceptable according to the available amount a person has, not according to what they don't have. Giving to those in need should not cause imbalance, leaving you in lack as your giving gives them surplus - it should be equally blessing both of you. Right now, your surplus is available for someone else’s need, and later, their surplus may in turn help you in your time of lack, and it will create balance for both of you. As it is written: The person who had more did not have surplus, and the person who had less did not have lack.” - 2 Corinthians 8:12-15
We have no interest in your money and resources - we want God’s money and resources to be invested in Brave Sky. This is and has always been our number one goal. This post is in no way a plea for you to give your resources through some sob story and emotional tug on your heart. We want your heart to be broken as you realize that you have been cheating God of His own resources! If your life is His, live like it. If your money is His, spend like it. If your resources are His, invest like it…. and be ready to see Him multiply the investments you have made for Him.
God’s true representatives are His hands and feet, the ones who are living out his character in every aspect of their lives. We hope that this includes you.
We are living proof of trusting God. We are still going, and we are trying to lead by example. We don’t want to tell you something you want to hear, we want to present you with the truth and see you run with it. This post is truly a letter of encouragement, to light a fire under your butt and get you moving when you were bingeing on Netflix like a couch potato. We don’t want to be harsh, but we feel the immense need for an intervention. Our ministry includes speaking the truth, even when it pisses people off. We don’t apologize for sharing the truth, but we are sorry that you’ve chosen to get this deep into not facing it. Our heart’s desire is to see you grow in a relationship with the God who made you, who has great plans for you… once you get up off that couch.
We want to thank all those who have shared and liked Brave Sky’s posts on social media. We also want to make you aware that those are completely noncommittal and truly do nothing to help us. We need the people who say they support us to take whatever action necessary to help propel us toward God’s goals for us. If this is you, we expect you to contact us immediately to find out how you can help. Should we dream big and settle for small? Absolutely not!
There are so many things that God is calling Brave Sky to do as a ministry, and yet we need your support to do it! God is calling Brave Sky to become mobile, but nobody has helped us pursue it. If you’re reading this, that includes you! Give what you are led to give. Share our burdens! Ask how you can be involved. Help propel us to the place God has for us next!