Generous Lifestyle

 

As you read these posts, I am sure you are impacted by the amazing variety and abundance of such inspiring examples of generosity. We do trust that they have helped you in developing your own “generous lifestyle”.

A strand of creative encouragement has been woven throughout the posts highlighting the wealth of opportunities there are to express generosity in and through our lifestyles. The 300th post has just been reached and we trust you have found them interesting and helpful.

There is a growing interest to turn the posts into a book of “A Generous Thought for the Day”, so keep a look-out  for further developments.

If you have fresh ideas and thoughts about such a lifestyle, then do write to us. We would like to share such input with others. We would like this blog to become more “interactive” and thus really value your comments and feedback.

Global Nomad…..

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Global Nomad

 

Encouraging Environmental Generosity

Guest Post

Build a little birdhouse in your soul

11 Jan 2011 by Paul Northup

So sang They Might Be Giants way back … and now the Diocese of York, led by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, is kickstarting its 2011 ‘Year of the Environment’ by sending a bird nesting box to every church and church school in the Diocese.

As Archbishop Sentamu says: “I want every Christian, every church in the Diocese of York, to pledge to make a difference to their environment in 2011. Whether you decide to use a bicycle instead of cars, or put up your bird box in your churchyards to increase biodiversity, everything you do will make a difference to our world and how we care for it.”

Perhaps we ought to tell him about the Generous website?

http://www.generous.org.uk/

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Libaries of Generosity

 

 

An extensive library of medical and maths books had been built up as the result over many years of study, research and lecturing by a professor in the UK. His widow was challenged as to how these could be given to a training centre overseas where they would be of immense value to the students and staff alike.

 

She approached one non-profit involved in literature projects who referred her to another and through a series of such links both these valuable libraries have now been relocated. Both are already being much appreciated in a teaching hospital overseas and a college in another country. The interesting aspect of this scenario is that some of the intermediate links have also “discovered one another” for future enrichment.

The generous vision of the widow coupled with a keen persistence enabled such a project to become a reality. Yet another special example of generosity in action.

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Extra Ordinary Generosity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eden is an award-winning and increasingly influential approach to urban youthwork and missional community that can be summed up in the phrase ‘Move In and Live Deep’. The initiative began in Manchester flowing out of the innovative schools’ work and music of Christian dance band ‘The Tribe’. After pioneering the first team in 1997 it became apparent that the model was replicable in other neighbourhoods. Within just a few years Eden had become a network stretching across the city.

In a nutshell Eden’s mandate is to go to the most challenging urban areas and share God’s life-changing love in word and action. The really unique thing about Eden is the way the teams choose to live in these communities, sharing the problems of those growing up there and ministering to their needs. Over the years around 300 people of all ages and from all backgrounds have chosen to become part of Eden, involving moving home to join an intentional missional community. Right now there’s a tremendous sense of energy and vision as Eden is beginning to spread to other cities.

http://www.eden-network.org/Groups/66860/Eden_Network.aspx

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Generosity Recognised

Government’s Giving White Paper
Posted on 24 May, 2011 by Polly G, Everyclick.com

This morning the Government [in the UK] published its Giving White Paper and pledged to support models that make giving easier.

 

The paper states that “everyone can make a difference” and that they want to “empower and encourage more people to get involved”. I could not echo the sentiment more.

We are a generous nation – last week’s statistics highlight this – but just as the Government Giving White Paper states, “we cannot afford to be complacent – levels of giving have flat-lined in recent years”. Safe to say people are being cautious with their finances, which isn’t surprising seeing the state of the economy at the moment. However, the Giving White Paper encourages initiatives that enable people to give as part of their everyday life and Give as you Live™ does exactly that. If everyone in the UK used Give as you Live™, we could raise a staggering £1.2billion for the Third Sector, all at the click of a mouse.

http://www.giveasyouliveblog.com/2011/05/governments-giving-white-paper/

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A Generosity Wish List

You probably noted in yesterday’s post that the projects which I highlighted were all training related. This is my key vision to empower those with potential in entrepreneurial areas to be enabled to set out in their chosen paths. Today I would like to share with you a further 6 projects which I know personally and would love to see empowered for future development.

 

 

Thus if I was asked to supply a Wish List of ten projects which I felt would be greatly blessed through receiving £1000 each, then it would be the four projects mentioned yesterday and the six listed below:

# Ephraim
# Freddy and Doris
# Paul and Anniina
# David and Natascha
# Dominic and Jung Young-Song
# Julie of Gogo-Olive

Ephraim from Bonnaire is working steadily through his preparation for a career in aviation especially with a focus and vision to serve in the ngo sphere such as MAF or similar. He has recently passed some initial exams and continues faithfully towards his entrusted goal. He has an entrepreneurial spirit and has been encouraging a small tourist business to be established in his home country.

Freddy and Doris, from South Africa and Germany, have been serving at a special needs centre in RSA for some years. They have been in such voluntary work for about 15/20 years so far. Now Freddy has a special burden to move into the Government realm by being a consultant-link between ngos and Government bodies to ensure the most effective partnership in enhancing the lives of individuals and communities around the world. Their growing family would join them too.

Paul and Anniina have a vision to be a living expression of God’s Love among the residents and visitors on one of the most popular tourist islands in Thailand. Having been wonderfully delivered from the mighty Tsunami a few years ago, Paul is keen to serve in that location. They have just welcomed their first child and look forward to be based for some time establishing such a home of blessing.

David and Natascha have been serving in an Asian country for a few years and have identified a real opportunity to serve as consultants to others serving in various projects there in order to bring further meaningful enhancement to the communities. Such funding would enable them to move ahead with establishing this consultancy service.

Dominic and Jung Young-Song along with their family are currently living in Korea. Dominic is from India and his early life was challenging as a youngster adrift in the city without a home. Through various acts of generosity he gained his basic education and then started his nautical training. Recently he was the Chief Engineer on an international vessel. He is now in the process of setting up a charity to enable others in similar conditions to his in early years through training and envisionment to achieve new goals and be able to sustain themselves and their families.

Julie from Scotland and based in Africa has set up a wonderful knitted animal craft business. It would be wonderful to give such funding to the Gogo-Olive project to enable it to move forward. The women employed in the project have all faced various challenges and thus are moving into a new way of life – being able to sustain their families.

If know folk who might be interested in bringing this “wish list” in reality, then do let us know.  Such partnership would be so much appreciated.

[Photo courtesy of Wikpedia: Money]

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Global Nomad

Opportunities for Generosity

 

Today I would like to highlight some strategic opportunities for being generous in partnership with projects on the move. Each of these projects are known to me personally and thus I am excited to be sharing them with you.

# Books for graduates
# Fuel for PoB project
# Legal Books for Africa
# Training for entrepreneurs

 

Fuel for PoB project.
A South African initiative is Passage of Bahar. This project seeks to establish small rivercraft to serve the villages around lakes and along rivers in Africa with valuable training and resources. One of the key needs will be the fuel for their supply vehicles and the small sailing vessels. You might like to find out more and even be part of the provision. http://lifeboat4.net/default.aspx

Books for Graduates
Also in South Africa there is a Bible Institute which I have been following over the past few years. It has been developing well and has seen some excellent results. One ongoing need they have is for good books to present to their Graduates each year.  http://www.biec.co.za/ If you would like to be involved in the provision of these or know of others who might be able to supply such valuable gifts, then do let me know.

Legal Books.
A good friend, in the UK, is seeking to locate ongoing supplies of surplus or previously used legal books for lawyers in Africa. He has been enabled to see good supplies sent out and well placed over the past few years. Let me know should you have any contacts that could become involved.

Training for Entrepreneurs
The initiative called “Epic Solutions” is providing excellent “hands-on” training for folk establishing new small businesses. You can find out more through contacting Bruce and Laura
www.eternalenterprises.co.za

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Global Nomad

Generous Cafe

Lifetree is all about stories

Lifetree Café is a comfortable place and time for people to gather weekly to explore life and faith. It looks and feels like the kind of place you’d typically meet a friend for food and drink and fun. Where the atmosphere encourages conversations, questions, and personal stories.

The hour-long Lifetree Café experiences feature real stories of real people, friendly conversation, time to build relationships with new and old friends, laughter, fun, spiritual insights, and opportunities to serve in the local community.

Lifetree stories dig into the big and little stuff that shapes our lives. Family. Friends. Fears. Busyness. Balance. Money. Materialism. Health. Heaven. Peace. Purpose.

But don’t take our word for it. Listen to what others are saying about Lifetree Café…

http://www.lifetreecafe.com/what-is-lifetree-cafe

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Generous Contentment

 

 

Guest post by Jon and Mindy Hirst

 

Introduction
Ron Pritz is our guest blogger today. He is the Executive Director of Organizational Development for OC International. When I heard his story recently I was compelled to ask him to share with our Generous Mind community about the task that is in front of him and how he is approaching it. Take a moment to read about how Ron is stewarding a large donation for the organization even as we struggle through recession.  http://www.onechallenge.org/

Contentment
“. . . for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation . . . “ Philippians 4: 11b-12a (NIV)

The proper response to God’s provision, whether full or sparse, is the faith response of contentment. Like most mission agencies today, my organization, OC International, has had its share of struggles over the past two or three years in terms of matching spending to income. Hard decisions have had to be made. Times of pain have occurred.

But last December the Lord did something beyond our experience and even beyond our ability to “ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20). From a treasure trove of artifacts from 18th century Chinese royalty, the Lord gave us a completely unsolicited and unprecedented gift of $2,000,000 to be used for projects for our mission’s work around the world.

Because this gift was designated to projects and not primarily to operating expenses, we continue to lean on the Lord for His faithful monthly provisions. However, with this wonderful gift there has been a certain thrill throughout the organization that, for the first time, many ministry dreams are now becoming realities. Never before have we been able to go out to our people, challenging them to dream and soliciting from them strategic projects that will grow the Kingdom.

For the most part we have only been able to identify with the Apostle Paul in the “I know what it is to be in need” portion of the Philippians passage. And in those circumstances we, like most believers, find ‘contentment’ more of a challenge. But in these last few months we have enjoyed joining Paul in experiencing “what it is to have plenty.” But in the end Paul’s point is neither need nor plenty. His point is contentment. So our prayer is that the Lord will give us His grace to rejoice in this wonderful gift while realizing that He grants us ‘needs’ so that we can learn contentment in those times as well.

Can we really have contentment no matter whether the Lord graces us with plenty or graces us with little? Both are part of His provision and are linked to what He is doing in our lives and in our organizations.
Posted by Jon and Mindy Hirst at 5:54 AM    http://generousmind.blogspot.com/

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Generosity Means Going Beyond Expectations

A special Guest Post from Jon and Mindy Hirst:

Part of being a Generous Mind is to go beyond the expectations of those who you are sharing with. Everyone comes to a conversation with expectations of what you will share and how you will invest in them. Most of the time people underwhelm in this area. We share too little and fail to pass on things that matter. But once in a while someone breaks the barrier of expectations and shares something of great significance. I found that to be true with the sermon shared by the Bishop of London at the royal wedding recently.  [Photo courtesy Royal Wedding website]

Take a moment to read the transcript below and respond to this blog post with what you received from his act of generosity:

Wedding Sermon given by the Bishop of London

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day this is. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves. Many people are fearful for the future of today’s world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.

In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. In the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each other. The spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this: the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.

It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centredness. People can dream of such a thing but that hope should not be fulfilled without a solemn decision that, whatever the difficulties, we are committed to the way of generous love. You have both made your decision today – “I will” – and by making this new relationship, you have aligned yourselves with what we believe is the way in which life is spiritually evolving, and which will lead to a creative future for the human race.

We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely the power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century. We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.

Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform so long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom. Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase:

“Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon,
Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.”

As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive. We need mutual forgiveness in order to thrive.

As we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light. This leads on to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can receive and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace.

I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today will do everything in their power to support and uphold you in your new life. I pray that God will bless you in the way of life you have chosen. That way which is expressed in the prayer that you have composed together in preparation for this day:

God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.  Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Posted by Jon and Mindy Hirst at 8:14 PM http://generousmind.blogspot.com/

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