Journal Author

Raymond Harris

Architect

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Journal Author

Raymond Harris

Architect

"My desire is to be the best possible steward I can be. I want nothing to be so valuable to me that I would hold it back from the Lord."


"My desire is to be the best possible steward I can be. I want nothing to be so valuable to me that I would hold it back from the Lord."


01

Hello, I'm...

My name is Raymond Harris. I’ve spent my career as an architect based in Dallas, Texas, but now I would classify myself as a venture capitalist in God’s Kingdom. If I were to describe my personality, I would say I am a mixture of the rich young ruler, the woman at the well, and the apostle Peter. I have a love for the outdoors that came from being a Scoutmaster for 13 years and I've enjoyed hiking all the National Parks in the lower 48 states.

02

Giving

My wife Marydel and I discovered the joy of giving when we received a large sum of money for a wedding gift. We both felt compelled to give it to our church instead of depositing it into our bank account. The joy we experienced led us into a lifelong journey of stewardship.

03

God's Generosity

God is so incredibly generous to share good things with us. (Matthew 7:11) It’s from the overflow of his goodness, mercy, and grace that we receive every blessing. God’s ultimate gift was his son Jesus, who though he was rich, became poor for our sake, so that we might become rich in his kingdom. (2 Corinthians 8:9) 


04

Dangers of Wealth

The Bible says the world and everything in it belongs to God. (Psalm 24:1) The danger of wealth is we think it belongs to us and is ours to do with as we please. Early in marriage, Marydel and I had to learn that if you take possession of your wealth then it will possess you. We found that generosity is God’s cure. As we give, our hearts are redirected away from us and our little kingdoms, toward God and his eternal kingdom.

05

Treasuring Jesus

I believe my wealth and success are not the result of my talent or my hard work. They are gifts from God. (Deuteronomy 8:18) Out of God’s grace and loving-kindness he has chosen me to steward this money. This realization humbles me to fall on my knees before Jesus because when I was young in business I asked God to not make me rich or famous because I didn't think I could handle either. God was faithful in that request for many years. Once I began to realize the dangers of wealth and the importance of stewardship, then God released more things into my possession to be used for his kingdom.

06

I Wish I Knew...

When I was 25, I wish I knew in my heart what it meant to truly abide in Christ. (John 15:4) I knew it intellectually, but it wasn’t driven home until I had an English Springer Spaniel dog who loved to be with me. He wanted to abide with me and therefore he did not go over, under, or through the fence to escape out of our backyard. That’s how I want to be with the Lord. I want to abide with Christ and be close to him, looking to intimacy more than fences to keep me from my sinful propensities.

07

My Routine

In the past 7 years, I have learned the importance of spending quantity time with the Lord. I believe God wants us to dwell with him. Dwelling is not simply a 15-minute devotional at the beginning of each day. It means a constant habitation with someone you love. Quantity time with God has led to great quality time and much joy.

08

Giving Decisions

Marydel and I desire is to invest in God’s kingdom relationally, not transactionally. This means we see our giving as investing in “relationships with friends” rather than giving to projects or ministries. We then evaluate opportunities based on four criteria: Is it effective, efficient, indigenous, and sustainable? Not all donations or investments fit these criteria perfectly, however, we try to invest in things that are efficient and effective in their purpose and done at the lowest possible indigenous level. But most of all, we don’t rely just on ourselves to figure out the best kingdom investments. We listen to the nudging and quiet whispers of the Holy Spirit.

09

My Mission

I am called to be a steward of God’s Kingdom. My desire is to be the best possible steward I can be. I want nothing to be so valuable to me that I would hold it back from the Lord. Instead, I want all that I have and all that I am to be available for God’s kingdom. This is my goal, aspiration, and calling. God has assigned to me a portion of his kingdom, in which to steward and invest. I try to find the portion that fits with my giftedness, calling, and purpose and put all possible assets towards it.

10

3 Words

Three words I hope are on my gravestone are: wisdom, humility, and compassion.

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